The Mariana Trench

The Mariana Trench - The Mariana Arc

Cross section of Mariana Arc

This 3-D sketch shows a cross-section of the Mariana Arc with some of its main structures and features. The numbers represent the speed of sound in the various layers beneath the arc measured by the precise timing arrivals from earthquakes and man-made sources. Higher velocities represent more dense material. Note that there is old ocean crust descending in the trench at the same time new crust is forming along the island arc (from deep melting of the down going plate) and in the back-arc spreading center (from extension behind the arc). Modified from Plate 2 of Fryer and Hussong (Proceedings of the Deep Sea Drilling Project, Leg 60, pp. 45-55, 1981).

Related Links

Submarine Ring of Fire: Mission Plan - Mariana Arc, 2003

Submarine Ring of Fire: Mission Plan - Explorer Ridge, 2002

The information appearing on this page was taken from an original article published by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Magazine Online.


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