Definition of seafloor spreading in US English:

seafloor spreading


  • The formation of new areas of oceanic crust, which occurs through the upwelling of magma at midocean ridges and its subsequent outward movement on either side.

    • ‘Reversals of the Earth's magnetic field, allied to sea-floor spreading, have left their imprint in the form of a magnetic tape recorder on the sea-floor.’
    • ‘After much thought, he proposed in 1960 that the movement of the continents was a result of sea-floor spreading.’
    • ‘The main figure demonstrates how sea-floor anomalies, also known as magnetic stripes, develop during sea-floor spreading.’