The Gorda Ridge is a tectonic spreading center located off the coast of Oregon and northern California north of Cape Mendocino. It runs northward from the west-striking Mendocino Fracture Zone to another transform boundary, the Blanco Fracture Zone. To its east is the Gorda Plate, which together with the Juan de Fuca Plate to its north, is what remains of the once-vast Farallon Plate which has been largely subducted under the North American Plate. To its west is the Pacific Plate.
Importance to geology
Due to its close proximity to the mainland, the Gorda Ridge and the Escanaba Trough which runs down the middle of it are very important to geological research. The Escanaba Trough provides opportunities for scientists to learn details about tectonics, volcanism, mineral formation, and biological activity that are not normally observed at mid-ocean ridges.
- Koski, Dr Randolf, The Escanaba Trough of Gorda Ridge: A Laboratory for Mineral-forming Processes, Coastal & Marine Geology Program, U.S. Geological Survey, retrieved 2014-10-10
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