What are the features of the North Pacific Ocean basin described in terms of seafloor spreading?

1 Answer
Feb 1, 2018

Formation of new crust along the Middle-Ocean ridge and subduction along the North America plate.


The East Pacific Rise is a chain of submarine volcanoes and faults that separates the Pacific tectonic plate on its west from the Cocos plate, Nazca plate and Antarctica plate on its east.

It is characterized by variable rate of ocean floor spreading which reach 15cm/year nearby Easter Island. This is the fasted rate of separation observed in the world.

The Cocos and Nazca plates are pushed below the North and South America plates. This is the source of magma and energy for the chain of volcanoes that runs along the west coast of North America (Cascade Range) and South Amerca (Andes).

The Pacific Rise hosts a series of geothermal vents emitting supe-heated fluids (up to 400 Celisius) that are called "Black smokers" from the color of the emissions enriched in dark sulfurs. A whole biological community is evolved feeding on these emissions thanks to the presence of bacteria able to convert the minerals in organic matter through chemosynthesis (equivalent to what plants do through photosynthesis).