The Atlantic Ocean is Getting Wider


    An upsurge of matter from deep beneath the Earth’s crust could be pushing the continents of North and South America further apart from Europe and Africa, new research has found.

    According to, the plates attached to the Americas are moving apart from those attached to Europe and Africa by four centimeters per year. In between these continents lies the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a site where new plates are formed and a dividing line between plates moving to the west and those moving to the east; beneath this ridge, material rises to replace the space left by the plates as they move apart.

    A team of seismologists, led by the University of Southampton, have found evidence of an upwelling in the mantle—the material between the Earth’s crust and its core—from depths of more than 600 kilometres beneath the Mid Atlantic ridge, which could be pushing the plates from below, causing the continents to move further apart.

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