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Atlantic Ocean, body of salt water covering about one-fifth of earth surface and also separating the continent of Europe and Africa to the east from those the North and also South America come the west. The ocean’s name, derived from Greek mythology, means the “Sea of Atlas.” that is 2nd in size to the Pacific Ocean.


Rocky shore of Labrador, Canada, top top the Labrador Sea, one embayment that the northwestern Atlantic Ocean.

The Atlantic is, typically speaking, S-shaped and narrow in relation to its length. The area that the Atlantic without its dependence seas is approximately 31,568,000 square mile (81,760,000 square km), and with them its area is about 32,870,000 square miles (85,133,000 square km). It has an average depth (with its seas) that 11,962 feet (3,646 metres) and also a preferably depth that 27,493 feet (8,380 metres) in the Puerto Rico Trench, north of the island of Puerto Rico.


Elements the the continental margin
Elements of the continental margin.
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As the continents room approached and also the rough Mid-Atlantic Ridge is left behind, one abyssal plain an initial is encountered, adhered to by the smooth, undulating surface of the continent rise. These large embankments, which lie at depths of some 8,000 to 15,000 feet (2,400 come 4,500 metres) at the foot the continents, reach much more than 300 miles (500 km) in width off northwestern Africa, Angola, Argentina, and also the east Seaboard of the unified States. In other areas they are exceedingly narrow. Millions of years of weathering, erosion, and riverine sediment deposition have contributed to producing the sloping continent rises that room characteristic the the Atlantic basin. That is beneath this slopes—in accumulations 10,000 come 50,000 feet (3,000 to 15,000 metres) thick—that few of the biggest potential make reservation on planet of petroleum, natural gas, and coal space found.

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The Lesser Antilles and the southern Sandwich Islands form large unstable island arcs, whereby the biggest depths the the Atlantic are found in steep-sided, small gashes the drop to an ext than 25,000 feet (7,600 metres) listed below sea level and an ext than 10,000 feet (3,000 metres) below the floors of nearby basins. Depths greater than 13,000 feet (4,000 metres) take place in the Caribbean basin, i beg your pardon has many shallow and several deep relations with the open up ocean, and in a few parts that the Mediterranean Sea, i beg your pardon communicates with the Atlantic only through the Strait that Gibraltar. The strait is about 8 mile (13 km) vast at that is narrowest point, and the maximum depth ~ above its sill (submarine ridge in between basins) is just a little more than 1,000 feet (300 metres). The partial isolation that the big seas nearby to the Mediterranean has a profound effect on the conditions in the seas themselves and also in the open up ocean.