How Old Is the Atlantic Ocean?
ES0802  Calculating the Rate of Separation

The rate at which the Atlantic Ocean floor formed and moved the continents apart can be calculated. Dividing the current distance between the two continents by the number of years they have been moving apart will tell how much wider the Atlantic Ocean has grown each year.

  !   Use the ruler tool to measure the distance between South America and Africa. Measure from the "corner" of South America straight east to Africa's coast.

 

 
   

7. Measure the distance between South America and Africa.

8. Calculate the average yearly widening of the Atlantic Ocean in cm per year. Show your work.

Click here if you need help with this calculation.

 
   

 Step:   1   2   3   4   5   6