The
Shape of the Ocean Floor Name
__________________________
Interpreting Data
Imagine you are an oceanographer traveling across the
u Problem
How can you use data about ocean depths to determine the shape of the ocean floor?
u Materials
Ocean Depth Sonar Data 

Longitude 
Ocean Depth (m) 
1. 64°W 
0 
2. 60°W 
91 
3. 55°W 
132 
4. 50°W 
73 
5. 48°W 
3512 
6. 45°W 
4024 
7. 40°W 
3805 
8. 35°W 
4171 
9. 33°W 
3439 
10. 30°W 
3073 
11. 28°W 
1756 
12. 27°W 
2195 
13. 25°W 
3146 
14. 20°W 
4244 
15. 15°W 
4610 
16. 10°W 
4976 
17. 05°W 
4317 
18. 04°W 
146 
19. 01°W 
0 
Pencil graph paper
u Procedure
1. Draw the axes of a graph. Label the horizontal axis Longitude.
Mark from 65°W to 0° from left to right. Label the vertical
2. Examine the data in the table. The numbers in the Longitude
column give the ship’s location at 19 points in the
3. Connect the points you have plotted with a line to create a
profile of the ocean floor.
u Analyze and Conclude
1. On your graph, identify and label the
continental shelf and continental slope.
2. Label the abyssal plain on your graph. How
would you expect the ocean floor to look there?
3. Label the midocean ridge on your graph.
Describe the process that is occurring there.
4. What might the feature at 10°W be? Explain.
5. Think About ItHow
is it helpful to organize data into a data table or a graph?
More to Explore Use the depth measurements in
the table to calculate the average depth of the