Hotbed of activity lies on ocean floor

2019-02-28 03:02:07

NO, it is not the surface of Venus. The image comes from much closer to home. Its vertical blue line shows the rift valley that forms the bottom of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The high peaks are shown in white. Running horizontally across the ridge are two transform faults. The picture comes from a sonar survey conducted by Ken Macdonald and his colleagues from the University of California at Santa Barbara. The echo soundings are accurate to within 5 metres. Only about 5 per cent of the deep ocean floor has been mapped to this level of detail. The survey has thrown up some surprises, says Macdonald, especially in the eastern Pacific. “In just one month,” he says,