The world's mid-ocean ridges form a single, connected global ridge system that is part of every ocean, and is the longest mountain range in the world. Geologically active, mid-ocean ridges are key sites of tectonic movement, intimately involved in seafloor spreading. This coursebook presents a multidisciplinary approach to the science of mid-ocean ridges – essential for a complete understanding of global tectonics and geodynamics. Designed for graduate and advanced undergraduate students, it will also provide a valuable reference for professionals in relevant fields.
Background chapters provide a historical introduction and an overview of research techniques, with succeeding chapters covering the structure of the lithosphere and crust, and volcanic, tectonic and hydrothermal processes. A summary and synthesis chapter recaps essential points to consolidate new learning. Accessible to students and professionals working in marine geology, plate tectonics, geophysics, geodynamics, volcanism and oceanography, this is the ideal introduction to a key global phenomenon.
2. Techniques of mid-ocean ridge study: a brief historical review
3. The oceanic lithosphere
4. Ridges as plate boundaries
5. Crustal structure and composition
8. Hydrothermal processes
9. Summary and synthesis
Appendix A: Glossary of terms
Appendix B: Directory of named features
Roger Searle is Emeritus Professor of Geophysics at Durham University. He has spent forty years studying mid-ocean ridges, and was a pioneer in the use of side-scan sonar to study their geodynamic, tectonic and volcanic processes. In his research he also uses topographic analysis and gravity and magnetic modelling to understand ridge structures. He was awarded the Royal Astronomical Society's Price Medal in 2011 and elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 2012. Searle has worked in many of the world's major oceanographic institutions, participated in thirty-seven research cruises and led eighteen. He was first full chairman of the international research organisation InterRidge, and has served on national and international committees including chairing the International Ocean Drilling Program's Site Survey Panel.