Divergent Plate Boundaries

At divergent plate margins, plates are moving apart and new lithosphere is being created.

In the oceans, this has produced the mid ocean ridge system, which can also be described as a global range of underwater mountains. Well known ocean ridges include the Mid Atlantic Ridge, the East Pacific Rise, the Juan de Fuca Ridge, and the Galapagos Rise.

Within continents, divergent margins produce rift valleys such as the Red Sea and East African Rifts; and the lesser known West Antarctic Rift.

Case studies:

Red Sea/East African Triple Junction

Mid-Atlantic Ridge


divergent rainbow 
Image of the bathymetry (underwater topography) of the Galapagos ocean ridge.