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Southern Ocean, likewise called Antarctic Ocean, human body of salt water covering about one-sixteenth the Earth’s total ocean area. The Southern s is comprised of the sections of the civilization ocean southern of the Pacific, Atlantic, and also Indian oceans and their tributary seas neighboring Antarctica listed below 60° S. The is unbroken by any other continental landmass. The narrowest constriction is the Drake Passage, 600 miles (about 1,000 km) wide, between South America and also the guideline of the Antarctic Peninsula. In regards to area, only the Arctic ocean is smaller.
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The framework of the ocean floor consists of a continental shelf usually much less than 160 mile (about 260 km) wide that attains its maximum broad of an ext than 1,600 mile (2,600 km) in the vicinity the the Weddell and Ross seas. There are oceanic containers farther phibìc that are as lot as 14,800 feet (4,500 metres) deep, defined by oceanic rises and often marked by varieties of abyssal hills. There are likewise narrow oceanic trenches v high relief, such together the south Sandwich Trench ~ above the eastern side the the south Sandwich Islands. Other relief features encompass oceanic plateaus that climb from the oceanic containers to depth of less than 6,650 feet (2,000 metres) listed below sea level and type rather flat regions, i m sorry are frequently covered by reasonably thick sedimentary deposits.
Hydrology and also biological resources
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The flow of currents in the Southern ocean is complex. Water cooled by cold air, outgoing radiation, and also katabatic winds turn off of the Antarctic continent sinks and also flows northward follow me the ocean bottom and is changed at the surface by an same volume the warmer water flowing southern from the Indian, Pacific, and also Atlantic oceans. The meeting point of the two is the Antarctic Convergence, where conditions favour the advance of phytoplankton, consisting of diatoms and other single-celled plants. The ocean’s most crucial organism in the higher food chain is the small shrimplike krill. Pets on the sea bottom that the nearshore zone encompass the sessile hydrozoans, corals, sponges, and bryozoans, as well as the foraging crablike sea spiders and also isopods, the annelid worm polychaete, echinoids, starfish, and a selection of crustaceans and mollusks. In ~ the sea bottom there are also eelpouts, sea snails, rat-tailed fishes, and codlike fishes. Rare non-bony species of fish include hagfish and also skates. Many varieties of deep-sea fish are well-known south of the Antarctic Convergence, however only three, a barracuda and also two lantern fishes, it seems to be ~ to be confined to this zone.
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The editor of Encyclopaedia vxcialistoufjg.comThis short article was many recently revised and updated by john P. Rafferty.