East Pacific Rise
The East Pacific Rise is the fastest-spreading mid-ocean ridge in the world, producing a broad, gently-sloping ridge with few transform offsets. It was here that the first submarine hydrothermal vents, or black smokers, were discovered. These vents give rise to oases of life on the deep-ocean floor, supporting complex communities of tube worms, clams, shrimp, and crabs, fueled by nutrients in the vent fluids.
- Length 5,600 miles (9,000 km)
- Height above Sea Floor 3,280 ft (1,000 m)
- Rate of Spread 4.5-6 in (11-15 cm) per year