sea-floor spreading

Collins
World English Dictionary
sea-floor spreading (ˈsiːˌflɔː)
 
n
Also called: ocean floor spreading 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 zones

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
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.
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