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seafloor spreading

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noun

a process in which new ocean floor is created as molten material from the earth's mantle rises in margins between plates or ridges and spreads out.

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Origin of seafloor spreading

First recorded in 1960–65
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for seafloor spreading

sea-floor spreading
/ (ˈsiːˌflɔː) /

noun

a series of processes in which new oceanic lithosphere is created at oceanic ridges, spreads away from the ridges, and returns to the earth's interior along subduction zonesAlso called: ocean floor spreading
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for seafloor spreading

sea-floor spreading

In the theory of plate tectonics, the process by which new oceanic crust is formed by the convective upwelling of magma at mid-ocean ridges, resulting in the continuous lateral displacement of existing oceanic crust. See more at magnetic reversal.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for seafloor spreading

sea floor spreading

The process by which new material that lies under the ocean rises and pushes the existing tectonic plates aside, creating new crust as it does so.

Sea floor spreading is making the Atlantic Ocean wider by a few inches each year.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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