When lava gets erupted at the mid-ocean ridge axis the cools and turns into difficult rock. Together it cools it becomes permanently magnetized in the direction that the earth’s magnetic field. Magnetometers, towed close to the sea surface ar behind research study ships or an installed on submarines like Alvin, measure the magnetic anomalies or “wiggles” that record the transforms in magnetization the the volcano sea floor.

Less than 60 years ago, scientists discovered that the earth’s magnetic field has reversed the polarity (direction) numerous times during the previous several hundred million years. A polarity reversal way that the magnetic north flips to whereby we know the south Pole is. At the mid-ocean ridge dispersing axis, these flips in the direction the the earth’s magnetic field are recorded in the magnetization that the lava. This creates a symmetrical pattern of magnetic stripes of the contrary polarity top top either side of mid-ocean ridges.

These patterns of stripes administer the background of seafloor spreading. Geophysicists can read these patterns from the magnetic anomalies lock measure v a magnetometer. Whereby the magnetic wiggles, or anomalies, space broader, the spreading rate has been faster. At sluggish spreading ridges, the anomalies are squeezed tighter together, yet the straightforward patterns space quite similar so scientists can correlate or relate the magnetic wiggles to different parts the the worldwide mid-ocean ridge.




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Axial Ridge


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Types that Ridges


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Fast/Slow Spreading


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