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Figure 2.6 Sections through spreading-ridges showing (a) simple peak; (b) and (c) graben.

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Figure 2.6 Sections through spreading-ridges showing (a) simple peak; (b) and (c) graben.

known as transform faults, are not readily explained in terms of mechanics usually applied to the interpretation of shear fractures.

One final and over-ridingly important characteristic is that oceanic lithosphere is more dense than the underlying asthenosphere. Consequently, oceanic lithosphere is always intrinsically unstable and, given the opportunity, will sink into the depths of the mantle.

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