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The occurrence of saltwater oceans across almost three-quarters of the planet’s surface led to the title “The Blue Planet” in 1968 when the United States’ Apollo 8 space mission returned from its moon orbit with a collection of remarkable colour photos. Taken from 238,000 miles (382,942 km) away, the graphics gave audiences a sense of humanity’s cramped place in the world, in addition to the dominant presence of the vibrant oceans.
Regardless of the fact that there exists the World Ocean, authorities have used titles to characterise sea bodies, with five in particular that are the biggest in thickness and area.
Named after the Greek titan Atlas, a deity as having superhuman power described, the Atlantic Ocean covers up to one-fifth of the planet’s surface area. It’s S shape spans 33.5 million square miles (87 million sq km), which makes it the second-largest sea on Earth. It has a mean thickness of 11,828 ft (3,605 meters). The deepest mapped area is 28,233 ft (8,605 meters) and is located inside the Puerto Rico Trench, an oceanic trench on the border between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
The Atlantic Ocean is divided into two different regions, north and south; those areas meet close to the equator where the continents of South America and Africa are closest together (1,700 miles, or 2,735 km, apart). It’s bordered on its southern border by the Southern Ocean and its northern border by the Arctic Ocean. Even though the Atlantic Ocean is fed with the many freshwater runoffs of some of the world’s oceans since it is adjacent to the vast continents of Europe. North and South America, and Africa it also is the saltiest (ranging from 3.3 to 3.7 percent salinity), due to currents, evaporation rates, and its flow through tropical places.
The Atlantic Ocean formed then and 200 million years ago during the Cretaceous Periodas an opening between Europe and North America. The central geological characteristic of the Atlantic is a gigantic, 8,800-mile-long (14,159-kilometer-long) volcanic ridge which runs from Iceland in the north to the Antarctic Basin from the south. Called the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, it steps up to 1,000 miles (1,609 km) at its widest point and climbs tens of thousands of feet from the sea floor to form islands in some places. Like the Azores (930 kilometres, or 1,496 km, west of Portugal) and Tristan da Cunha (1,750 miles, or 2,816 km, from South Africa). The ridge is actively changing; it widens as many as 2 inches (5 centimetres) annually, expanding the Atlantic Ocean through the launch of fresh lava which turns into the seabed. As these undersea volcanoes erupt, the new
This picture shows the vastness of the World Ocean. Founded in 1968 by U.S. astronaut Bill Anders through the Apollo 8 space mission (the first time a manned spacecraft travelled to lunar orbit), it’s the first such picture of the planet by a human.
|Atlantic Ocean||Pacific Ocean||Arctic Ocean||Indian Ocean||Southern Ocean|
|Size (million square miles)||33.5||65.6||5.44||26.9||7.8|
|Maximum Width (miles)||4,909||11,185||1,988||6,338||1,678|
|Maximum Depth (feet)||28,233 (Puerto Rico Trench)||36,201 (Mariana Trench)||18,456 (Near North Pole)||24,460 (Java Trench)||23,736 South Sandwich Trench)|
|Primary Fish||Cod, grouper, hake, herring, mackerel, menhaden, tuna||Cod, hake, mackerel, pollock, salmon, sole, sardine, tuna||Arctic cod, arctic greyling, whitefish||Anchovy, flounder, grouper, herring, shark||Cod, herring, krill, squid|
|Deep Ocean Floor (greater than 6,000 feet; percent)||38||43||60*||49||50|
|Volcanoes and Trenches (percent)||2.8||5.4||1 or less*||6||1|
|Ridges (percent)||31.2||35.9||1 or less*||30||20|
Material pushes on the Tectonic plates west toward South and North America and east toward Africa and Europe.
The bottom of the Atlantic Ocean Features a dozen basins called plains. These places are apparently flat and range between 7,000 and 18,000 ft (2,134 and 5,486 meters) deep. Compared to abyssal plains, a windswept desert scene is characterised total darkness by level terrain water pressure, and some of the waters on Earth. A jutting volcano is known as a seamount (also referred to as a ridge) sometimes may split these plains.
Moreover, the areas that are abyssal Host species of fish than sea areas must swim to feed in more shallow waters. To live at these high-pressure depths, have developed a metabolism and a variety of species have evolved to have motion. The species feed on the drift of substances as it accumulates on the ocean floor, composed of fish, algae, plankton, and other seas.
The Atlantic Ocean also features Some of the richest marine environments. When deep water currents collide with more shallow waters, considerable amounts of nutrients like potassium, calcium, and phosphorus from the sea bottoms are sent to the surface as food. Plankton consume these diatoms fish eat the plankton, and fish subsequently eats the fish. These intersections of shallow and deep water cause a diversity of bird species, fish, shellfish, mammals, and plankton.
Upwelling locations the Atlantic Ocean include the Grand Banks, southeast of Newfoundland on the North American Continental Shelf. Georges Bank, between Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Cape Sable Island, Nova Scotia; Hatton Bank from the Iceland Basin; the Bahama Banks of the Bahama Archipelago in the Caribbean; and the Falkland Banks, near Argentina.
In 1520, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan named the biggest sea Mare Pacificum, meaning “peaceful sea” in Latin. When he struck pleasant stillness after travelling for the first time during the tumultuous straits (later named after him) that lead from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean in the southern tip of South America. The Pacific Ocean covers around one-third of the planet’s surface, with an area of 65 million square miles (168 million sq km). It’s the deepest sea, with a mean depth of 13,127 ft (4,001 meters). It’s known the deepest point is at 36,201 feet (11,034 meters) in the Mariana Trench, to the east of the Mariana Islands (south of Japan and north of New Guinea). The Pacific Ocean runs in the Arctic Ocean (at the junction of Russia and the United States) in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, ending at 60º latitude.
The collision and constant the Panthalassa was changed by movement of plates to today’s the Pacific Ocean. Even though it’s the largest ocean, the Pacific is shrinking by up to 4 inches (10 centimetres) annually. This is due to many tectonic continental plates (Asian, Australian, North American, and South American) pressing up against the sea plates, forcing the denser sea plates down into trenches. Once pressed down, these valleys are pressured to subduction zones, where the sea floor is pushed into the magma that sits beneath the crust or is forced beneath another plate that was continental and finally crushed and melted.
The Pacific Ocean hosts A formation known as the Ring of Fire that’s composed of the island and undersea volcanoes and sea trenches. This ring, operating for 24,850 miles (39,984 km) from New Zealand to South America, is the source of frequent disturbances, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and sea floor subductions. The Ring of Fire includes 25,000 islands, tens of thousands of events, and an estimated 450 volcanoes. It hosts 90 percent of the world’s earthquakes. The origin of the action is that the Pacific plate colliding to a dozen other people, including Cocos, Nazca, South and North American, and Juan de Fuca.
Nearly 40 percent of the fish in The Pacific Ocean is lived in by the World Ocean. Including several dozen groups encompassing around 20,000 distinct species, the majority of which are bony-type fish (exceptions include rays and sharks). Some of the most common larger Pacific commercial fish are six species of salmon (Oncorhynchus sp.), three species of tuna (Thunnus sp.), and two species of bass (Stereolepis sp.). Small commercial fish include the Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii), which is mainly caught in creating by-products like fish meal and food additives.
Until the middle of this Century, herring were so abundant that they made up 30 percent of the total global catch of all fish’s weight. Overfishing, which caused a collapse of the eastern Pacific population in 1993, has harmed herring stocks, in addition to other bigger fish (tuna, salmon, and bass) which feed on the herring.
The sea bounty the Development of a Pacific fishing fleet, which operates mostly Regions of shelves in the waters. This fleet of Over 1 million ships brings in 60 percent of the fish catch annually, including 5 billion pounds (2.3 billion kilograms) of tuna alone. The largest Fishing ports are spread out throughout the sea and include Callao, Peru; Hong Kong Australia, Sydney Klang, Malaysia; Japan, Tokyo; and the American Ports of California, Los Angeles, and Seattle, Washington.
The smallest of the ocean bodies is situated in the hemisphere’s regions. A group of land frames it. The 5.4-million-square-mile (14-million-square-kilometer) the Arctic Ocean also is the shallowest sea, with a mean thickness of 4,690 feet (1,430 meters). The deepest point, at 18,456 ft (5,625 meters), is close to the North Pole in the middle of the ocean.
Hosting freezing winters marked by months of complete darkness, this Arctic region maintains a prominent ice cap (a literal ice blanket consisting of fresh water) which spreads around 5 million square kilometres (13 million sq km) across the sea. The ice in the North Pole is up to 164 feet (50 meters) deep in some areas. These conditions prevent human or animal habitation in the regions closest to the road during the winter season.
Summers have experienced melting of around half of the pack ice. Scientists forecast the disappearance of summer ice before the century’s end. In summer time, large boats can ply the channels of the Arctic Ocean for the first time.
The Arctic Ocean is one of the regions of the world because of its inaccessibility. It wasn’t until 1958 that the U.S. submarine Nautilus managed to surface through the summer ice in the North Pole to prove that only ice covers the surface of the ocean.
The decades of the cold war between the USA and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) led to substantial submarine visitors below the ice and the initial efforts to map the sea floor. Sonar surveys gathered images of the ground and the depth measurements.
One characteristic of the flooring is that more than 50 percent of it consists of a continental shelf where it connects to parts of Russia and Canada. In a thickness of fewer than 600 feet (183 meters), the shelf extends around 1,000 miles (1,609 km) toward the pole.
The Arctic Ocean is shallow in areas that it is considered a sea by some oceanographers, though there is typically a sea characterised by its connection to a landmass rather than by its thickness. Despite this language that is debated, the Arctic Ocean is growing in size across the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge, located between Siberia and Greenland, in addition to along three ridges.
Although its ice coverage varies by the season, the Arctic polar ice cap develops each winter to about 5.7 million square miles (14.8 million sq km). And covers nearly the whole ocean area plus portions of Greenland and the Bering Strait (situated between Cape Dezhnev, Chukotka, Russia, and Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska). This cap, while up to 150 feet (46 meters) thick in places, contains only 3 to 4 feet (0.9 to 1.2 meters) of fresh ice annually. Some of the ice on the part of the cap has melted from June to September.
The Arctic Ocean has restricted inflow of salt water from oceans 80 percent enters the Arctic in the Atlantic Ocean alongside Norway and Greenland. This water inflow, together with inflow from freshwater soil runoff, plays an integral role in the creation of the ice cap.
The icy conditions in the polar area temperatures remain below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius) year long on the ice cap make a life for biotic creatures tricky. The Arctic Ocean hosts a handful of mammals that have evolved to thrive in a harsh sea environment where ice acts like land.
These include polar bears (Ursus maritimus), ringed seals (Pusa hispida), and walrus (Odobenus rosmarus). Life in the Arctic Ocean’s net starts with plankton growing in the top layers of salt water close to the ice. These animal and plant species are consumed by small fish which are then eaten by species such as Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida). Three species of seals which are, in turn, eaten by bears hunts the cod. The 1,300-pound (590-kilogram) polar bear, which can be camouflaged by its white coat, is semi-aquatic, and it spends a lot of its life on the ice pack as a consummate predator.
Covering around 20 percent of the surface of the Earth, the Indian Ocean is the ocean that is significant. It’s bordered Australia to the east, India and Asia to the north, by Africa to the west, and the Southern Ocean to the south. It crosses 26.9 million square kilometres (69.7 million sq km) and has a mean thickness of 12,645 ft (3,854 meters). The deepest place is the 24,442-foot (7,450-meter) Java Trench, which is located approximately 186 miles (299 km) off the coasts of Java and Sumatra.
The Indian Ocean formed after a conglomeration of continents such as Australia and Africa, Gondwanaland, broke apart. When it began to travel to the tectonic plate, India sat in the centre of this sea until 75 million years back. At some point, the continent started to form the Himalayan Mountains collided with Asia and, 35 million years back.
Since that time, the Indian Ocean has continued to rise. Two of the world’s biggest rivers, the Brahmaputra of southern Tibet and the Indus in Pakistan, drain into this sea and deposit enormous amounts of sediment around 1,200 miles (1,931 km) to the open waters.
Along with its floor, the Indian Ocean has an inverted formation made from volcanic ridges. 1 section, the Ninety East Ridge, runs from eastern India in the Bay of Bengal 1,700 kilometres (2,735 km) southward. This notable underwater mountain range sits 5,500 ft (1,676 meters) below sea level because of erosion and plate tectonics, but it once stood over the surface waters. The ridge comprises continents on its crest, and parts of the Indonesian. As the continent travelled to collide with Asia, its motion against the border of the Ninety East Ridge left an aftermath of affected and crushed underwater terrain.
Warm waters help create monsoons (strong storms like hurricanes) in the Indian Ocean during two periods annually. The first, from November to April, includes currents and winds which flow from east to west. A ship travelling from India to Africa is easier during this time, and cooler weather means problems that are coastal that are calmer. The monsoon season, from May to October, is the hurricane season. Currents and the winds shift and travel to east. Air temperatures result in warmer waters which create sea and coastal storms.
Many areas, such as Thailand, Sumatra, and India, are susceptible to damage from flooding. Winds more than 150 mph (241 km per hour) can occur up to a dozen times a year, and sea waves are cresting over 40 feet (12 meters) are typical.
The Indian Ocean features unique islands, known as atolls, shaped by oceanic volcanoes that eroded to form ring-shaped landmasses, each enclosing a salt water central lagoon. These atolls, whose name means “place” in the native language of the Maldive Islands peoples living southwest of India, encourage the formation of submerged coral reefs that sponsor a diverse community of marine life. An atoll’s warm waters attract coral organisms that turn waters into a habitat for as many as 4,000 species of fish. Up to 300 atolls exist around the world, with most being from the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.
It wasn’t until the year 2000 that the worldwide community gave a new name to this present ocean body. What now is termed the Southern Ocean has had several names, such as South Polar Ocean and the Antarctic Ocean. It has been acknowledged by scientists as an ocean that was fifth.
Portions of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans were carved away in the 60º south latitude line to make a circular body of water which surrounds the Antarctic continent, forming the fourth-largest ocean. Spanning 7.8 million square kilometres (20.2 million sq km), the Southern Ocean has an average thickness of 14,450 ft (4,404 meters), with its deepest point at 23,736 ft (7,235 meters) at the South Sandwich Trench region, east of the tip of South America. Due to its location in the southern polar area, around 1.1 million square miles (2.8 million sq km) of the sea freeze around Antarctica each winter.
At the core of the Southern Ocean is the coldest continent on Earth, Antarctica, where winter features no daylight and temperatures that reach -85 degrees Fahrenheit (-65 degrees Celsius). Ice and snow completely cover this frozen continent (averaging 1 mile, or 1.6 km, in thickness)
The greatest population of Gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis Papua), distinguishable by their glowing red-orange invoices and white spots behind their eyes, is in the coastal regions of the Antarctic Peninsula. A thick layer of network and blubber of waterproof plumage empowers these birds to defy Antarctic weather and the waters. (© lfstewart /Fotolia) a very narrow continental shelf with sea water reaching up to 1,600 feet (488 meters) deep up to 100 miles (161 km) from land.
In actuality, Antarctica retains 90 percent of the planet’s ice hockey, which is 70 percent of the global freshwater. By reflecting a high amount of sunlight back into space, this ice and snow play a role in the thermoregulation of air temperatures. No trees rock are featured by the continent’s inhospitable, and powerful storms with whiteouts provide conditions for animal welfare, and therefore the border of the landmass is where all wildlife resides.
The region called the edge of the Southern Ocean, at 60º latitude is the only place in the world where no soil exists for the whole circumference of the planet. It’s here that the open sea, which hosts waters exceeding 20,000 feet (6,096 meters) deep, features ample waves which could, feasibly, travel in a complete circle around the planet without being obstructed by land.
Ship captains, even those with huge boats, have for years called this area the “screaming sixties,” referring to the latitude, and describing the constant howl of unimpeded gale-like winds. Lots of the world’s biggest waves frequently more than 50 feet (15 meters) high have been seen in the Southern Ocean.
The mix of heavy, cold water and strong currents supports a bounty of life in Southern Ocean waters, including an estimated annual production of 610 million tons of phytoplankton. These plants feed.
The largest penguin species, the Emperor (Aptenodytes forsteri), spends much of its life feeding in the sea; it breeds a couple of miles inland on Antarctica during the brutal winter season. Feeding on tiny shrimp called krill, small fish, and squid, the penguins grow up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) tall and weigh almost 100 pounds (45 kilograms).
The most populous seal in the Southern Ocean is the crabeater (Lobodon carcinophagus), which communicates by filtering water through its lobed teeth, thus capturing mouthfuls of tiny shrimp (instead of crabs as its title suggests). This seal is the mammal in the world after humans.
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