seafloor spreading

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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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

sea floor spreading definition


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.

Note: Sea floor spreading is making the Atlantic Ocean wider by a few inches each year.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
He claimed that this process, now called subduction, destroys the surface formed by sea floor spreading.
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