Worlds of David Darling
Encyclopedia of Science
   
Home > Encyclopedia of Science

ocean trench




oceanic spreading
How ocean trenches and mid-ocean ridges are formed
Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

A long, narrow, linear depression of the sea floor caused by the subduction of one plate under another. Ocean trenches have a V-shaped cross-section and run, typically, roughly parallel to continental coastal mountain ranges or volcanic island arcs. See also mid-ocean ridge.


Related category

   • GEOLOGY AND PLANETARY SCIENCE