seafloor spreading


: the divergence at mid-ocean ridges of the tectonic plates underlying the oceans that is due to upwelling from the earth's interior of magma which solidifies and adds to the spreading plates

Examples of seafloor spreading in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As the land splits apart, the Afar Depression will sink deeper and deeper, a process known as seafloor spreading. Ashley Stimpson, Popular Mechanics, 21 June 2023 The plan would take advantage of regions called subduction sinks, where sedimentary material is being drawn downward into the earth’s mantle as a consequence of seafloor spreading. Mark Fischetti, Scientific American, 1 Feb. 2022 Initially, scientists thought that no species, let alone a bustling community, could survive the scorching temperatures and crushing pressures of these sites, most of which are located about 7,000 feet below the ocean surface in areas of seafloor spreading. Discover Magazine, 29 June 2010 Movement within it contributes to earthquakes, volcanos, and seafloor spreading. Manasee Wagh, Popular Mechanics, 14 Mar. 2022 Dalton and her colleagues added to the picture by assembling a complementary high-resolution record for the Pacific Ocean, where seafloor spreading is faster and more complex. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, 22 Dec. 2020 Instead, they are forged through what Sager refers to as an augmented type of seafloor spreading. Robin George Andrews, National Geographic, 15 July 2019 Even after the seafloor spreading discovery, some Expanding Earth scientists stuck to their guns. Meg Neal, Popular Mechanics, 3 Aug. 2018 Soon after, an explosion in oceanic exploration helped flesh out the theory of seafloor spreading, eventually leading to the landmark 1963 paper that vindicated Wegener's original theory—with one major adjustment. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, 18 Apr. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'seafloor spreading.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1969, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of seafloor spreading was in 1969

Dictionary Entries Near seafloor spreading

Cite this Entry

“Seafloor spreading.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

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