At the bottom of the body of water that covers our planet, there is an astonishing landscape with thousands of volcanoes, mountain ranges and deep sea trenches. The seabed is one of the most active geological regions on the planet and its surface is known as the continental shelf. It is a region of the Earth that has not yet been fully explored. Continental Shelf
The geology of the seafloor
The continental shelf is a shallow ledge that extends an average of 80 km into the sea and an average of 130 meters below the surface.
Submerged reliefs below sea level can have two geological origins. On the one hand, the reliefs of the continental margin, representing the continuation of the continents below sea level. On the other hand, there are the reliefs of the ocean floor.
The continental shelf structures have a close relationship with the reliefs that appear above the Earth’s surface
In coastal plain territories, continental shelves are generally extensive and with gentle slopes. Continental Shelf
After the continental shelf is the continental slope , which is an area of steep slope. Then there is the foot of the slope, which is formed by the accumulation of fallen sediment and is part that is in contact with the ocean floor .
Among the reliefs of the ocean floor are the abyssal plains, which are very flat surfaces that are covered with sediments (in these plains the guyots or seamounts appear). The abyssal plains are interrupted by oceanic ridges, which are underwater mountain ranges that extend across all oceans. Ocean trenches are the last form of submerged relief and their length and depth are quite variable. Continental Shelf
In relation to other areas
The study of continental shelves goes beyond geological issues. It should be noted that the reliefs of the ocean surface have a direct relationship with other areas: with ocean currents, with the jurisdiction of waters and the law of the sea, with the study of volcanoes, with the installation of undersea cables for telecommunications or with the exploration of marine soils.