Mapping the Atlantic Ocean Floor- from Cape May to Cape Roca!

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Mapping the Atlantic Ocean Floor- From Cape May to Cape Roca!
In this activity, you will learn how scientists use math to find out about the ocean floor. The data in the table below represents various measurements of the depth of the Atlantic Ocean between Cape May, New Jersey and Cape Roca, Portugal. You will use this data to construct a profile, or side view, of the floor of the Atlantic Ocean between these points.

Table Side One Table Side Two

Distance from Cape May (miles)

Depth (feet)

Distance from Cape May (miles)

Depth (feet)

0 miles- Beach at Cape May

O feet

2200 miles

6,900 ft

100 miles

600 ft

2225 miles

4500 ft

125 miles

6,000 ft

2325 miles

4200 ft

325 miles

12,000 ft

2450 miles

3300 ft

475 miles

15,000 ft

2475 miles

0 ft

650 miles

18,000 ft

2525 miles

6,000 ft

900 miles


2700 miles

12,000 ft

1125 miles

2725 miles

1300 miles

18,750 ft

2800 miles

16,800 ft

1425 miles

17,400 ft

3150 miles

16,200 ft

1475 miles

12,000 ft

3300 miles

13,800 ft

1600 miles

9,600 ft

3400 miles

1900 miles

15,000 ft

3425 miles

3000 ft

2000 miles

12,600 ft

3475 miles

600 ft

2150 miles

10,800 ft

3500 miles beach at Cape Roca

0 ft

  1. What is the minimum depth and how far from Cape May is it located?

  1. What is the maximum depth and how far from Cape May is it located?

  1. Convert the maximum Atlantic Ocean depth into miles (1 mile = 5,280 ft)

  1. Notice that the data for ocean depth is missing for 1125, 2725, and 3400 miles. Estimate and write in the value for ocean depth.

  1. Plot the distance and depth on the graph. Once each point it plotted, CAREFULLY connect the data points.

  1. AFTER creating the ocean floor profile, LABEL the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. At what distance do you find its highest point?

  1. In order to convert sonar data into depth measurements, scientists use the following equation: Depth = ½ V x t where V is a constant = 5,806 feet per second and is the speed of sound in water. Using the formula, complete the table to calculate depth.

Distance for Cape May Time (seconds) Ocean Depth (feet)

1,125 miles


3,400 miles


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