Let us now consider briefly some of the various structures that occur in oceanic plates between the trench and the spreading-ridge. From the intensity of seismic activity that occurs in down-going slabs, one can infer that a multiplicity of fractures also develop as the lithosphere is flexed, to become subducted, and then straightened as it penetrates deeper into the mantle. We shall deal with the development of some of these fractures later in this chapter. Here, we shall be concerned only with structures in the horizontal oceanic plate which can be seen at the surface, or inferred from seismic traverses and earthquake data.
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