Encyclopedia of Marine Geosciences

Living Edition
| Editors: Jan Harff, Martin Meschede, Sven Petersen, Jörn Thiede

Continental Rise

  • William W. Hay
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6644-0_155-3


The continental rise is the gently inclined slope between the base of the continental slope and the deep ocean floor.

The expression “continental rise” was first used by Bruce Heezen and Maurice Ewing in their account of the effects of the 1929 Grand Banks earthquake. It was formally defined in 1959 by Heezen et al. in GSA Special Paper 65. The Floors of the Ocean: I, The North Atlantic: “Since we have limited the continental slope to gradients greater than 1:40, we split off this lower portion of the continental margin into a separate province, the continental rise” (p. 19).

In many areas, local morphologic features interfere with the general slopes so that neither the upper nor lower limits of the continental rise are well defined (Fig . 1).


Continental Shelf Continental Margin Ocean Crust Continental Slope Planktonic Foraminifera 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geological SciencesUniversity of Colorado at BoulderCOUSA