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EnchantedLearning.com
ALL ABOUT OCEANS AND SEAS
Introduction Why is the Ocean Salty? What Causes Waves? Tsunami The Water Cycle Ocean Animal Printouts Ocean Crafts
Why is the Ocean Blue? What Causes Tides? Hurricane Undersea Explorers Coral Reefs Intertidal Zone Sunlit (Euphotic) Zone Ocean Printouts

EnchantedLearning.com
EARTH'S OCEANS: An Introduction

Oceans cover about 70% of the Earth's surface. The oceans contain roughly 97% of the Earth's water supply.

The oceans of Earth are unique in our Solar System. No other planet in our Solar System has liquid water (although recent finds on Mars indicate that Mars may have had some liquid water in the recent past). Life on Earth originated in the seas, and the oceans continue to be home to an incredibly diverse web of life.

The oceans of Earth serve many functions, especially affecting the weather and temperature. They moderate the Earth's temperature by absorbing incoming solar radiation (stored as heat energy). The always-moving ocean currents distribute this heat energy around the globe. This heats the land and air during winter and cools it during summer.

THE OCEANS
The Earth's oceans are all connected to one another. Until the year 2000, there were four recognized oceans: the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Arctic. In the Spring of 2000, the International Hydrographic Organization delimited a new ocean, the Southern Ocean (it surrounds Antarctica and extends to 60 degrees latitude).

There are also many seas (smaller branches of an ocean); seas are often partly enclosed by land. The largest seas are the South China Sea, the Caribbean Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea.

Ocean Area Average Depth (ft) Deepest depth (ft)
Pacific Ocean 63,780,000 sq mi (165,250,000 sq km) 15,215 ft (4,028m) Mariana Trench, 36,198 feet (11,033 m) deep
Atlantic Ocean 41,080,000 sq mi (106,400,000 sq km) 10,950 ft (3,926m) Puerto Rico Trench, 28,231 ft deep
Indian Ocean 28,400,000 sq mi (73,560,000 sq km) 13,002 ft (3,963m) Java Trench, 25,344 ft deep
Southern Ocean 7,848,000 sq. miles (20,330,000 sq km) 13,100 - 16,400 ft deep (4,000 to 5,000 meters) the southern end of the South Sandwich Trench, 23,737 ft (7,236 m) deep
Arctic Ocean 5,400,000 sq mi (13,990,000 sq km) 3,953 ft (1,205m) Eurasia Basin, 17,881 ft deep


WEB LINKS ABOUT OCEAN LIFE, OCEANS AND WATER ON EARTH
Ocean Animal Printouts from Enchanted Learning.
Continents and Ocean Quiz Printout from Enchanted Learning - or go to the answers.
Ocean Map Printout: Label the Oceans.
Ocean Animal Jokes from Enchanted Learning.
What Causes Tides? from Enchanted Learning.
NASA Ocean project from Goddard Flight Center
Ocean images from NASA
Why is the Ocean Salty? By Herbert Swenson, a US Geological Survey Publication.


by Jeananda Col


EnchantedLearning.com
ALL ABOUT OCEANS AND SEAS
Introduction Why is the Ocean Salty? What Causes Waves? Tsunami The Water Cycle Ocean Animal Printouts Ocean Crafts
Why is the Ocean Blue? What Causes Tides? Hurricane Undersea Explorers Coral Reefs Intertidal Zone Sunlit (Euphotic) Zone Ocean Printouts


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