|The mid-ocean ridge is a continuous chain of volcanoes on the ocean floor where lava erupts and the crust of the Earth is created. One of the most unique features of the mid- ocean ridge is hydrothermal vents. Imagine a place where the pressure is so great it would crush your lungs, the water is boiling hot, and toxic chemicals are spewing into the water. This unlikely and inhospitable environment is actually home to organisms, like tubeworms, that not only survive, but thrive through unusual relationships with bacteria. race journal|
Dive and Discover, sponsored by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute provides a great site that defines and illustrates the mid-ocean ridge. Interactive cartoon diagrams are "clickable " for definition of terms. Includes a classroom experiment on sea floor spreading. Appropriate for grade levels 7-12 and general audiences.
Exploring the Deep Ocean sponsored by the USGS, this site is a bit more advanced but discusses the theory and dynamics behind the concept of plate tectonics. A variety of images are available at this site including bizarre sea life that make their home on and around the mid-ocean ridge. For general audiences, grade levels 11-undergraduate.
Ocean Explorer sponsored by NOAA this site is a series of lesson plans for grades 5-12. They are suggested for use with the Galapagos Rift Expedition but cover topics including how hydrothermal vents form, how scientists find and sample hydrothermal vents, and the biodiversity of vent communities. Search throughout the Explorer website and look for more expeditions to deep ocean volcanoes and benthic communities.
Volcanoes of the Deep sponsored by PBS and its program NOVA this site provides access to ideas from teachers who have used this NOVA program in their classroom. You'll find resources, lesson plans, and instructions on how to obtain this video for your classroom. This site also provides a link to NOVA's online adventure "Into the Abyss". Appropriate for grade levels 5-12 and general audiences.