submarine fracture zone

Long, narrow, and mountainous submarine lineation that generally separates ocean-floor ridges differing in depth by as much as 1 mi (1.6 km). The largest fracture zones, in the eastern Pacific, are more than 1,000 mi (1,600 km) long and 60–125 mi (100–200 km) wide. Numerous shorter fracture zones in the Atlantic are associated with the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

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Break in a bone, caused by stress. It causes pain, tenderness, and inability to use the part with the fracture. The site appears deformed, swollen, and discoloured, and the bone moves in abnormal ways. It must be protected from weight bearing and movement between the broken ends while it heals, producing puttylike new tissue that hardens to join the broken pieces together. Complications include failure to heal, healing in the wrong position, and loss of function despite good healing. Fractures in joints present a particularly serious problem, often requiring surgery. Seealso osteoporosis.

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