Sea floor ‘bridges’across Mariana trench

Posted: 01/04/2012 in all marine news

Hydro International – 

Marine geophysicists from the University of New Hampshire, USA, have found huge ‘bridges’ across the Mariana trench, which cross the trench about a mile above the bottom, reports Rob Wauigh in the Mail Online.

The bridges are created when mountains on the sea floor are pulled into the earth’s crust by enormous geological forces.

The mountains, sticking up from the Pacific ocean plate, form ‘bridges’ as the the Pacific plate disappears into the earth’s crust under the neighbouring Philippine plate.

The bridges are created when undersea mountains are pulled into the earth’s crust – forming bridges across the trench where two tectonic plates collide, said University of New Hampshire scientists.

One of the bridges was detected in low resolution in the Eighties, but Gardner’s team has made three more sightings, according to OurAmazingPlanet.

Some of the bridges rise up to 6,600 feet above the trench, and are up to 47 miles long. The scientists used a multi-beam echo sounder to map the area.

They mapped the sea floor in the Mariana trench with multi-beam echo sounders, and found four bridges across the trench, created when mountains are being pulled into the earth’s crust.

The researchers are examining the process of how underwater mountains are ‘pulled under’ another tectonic plate.

A hydrographic ship from the U.S. Navy recently mapped the Marianas trench. The ship, associated with CCOM, the Centre for Coastal and Ocean Mapping at the University of New Hampshire, mapped the whole of the Marianas Trench to a 100m resolution.

Full story…

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