The Atlantic Ocean may start shrinking

The motion of the ocean could be closing

Atlantic Ocean map.
The Atlantic Ocean could gradually close up over millions of years
(Image credit: southerlycourse / Getty Images)

The Atlantic Ocean may begin to shrink, said a new study published in the journal Geology. Oceans are not necessarily a permanent fixture on Earth, as they are able to appear and close due to the work of plate tectonics. More specifically, subduction zones — where tectonic plates slip over and under each other — can push land to open or close oceans. Researchers found that an inactive subduction zone under the Strait of Gibraltar may begin migrating into the Atlantic Ocean, commencing the shrinking process. The zone also brings a higher risk of earthquakes and volcanic activity.

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