Atlantic Ocean

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Geography and Exploration:
– Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest oceanic division, covering 17% of Earth’s surface.
– It separates the New World from the Old World and played a central role in human society and globalization.
– The Norse were the first known to cross the Atlantic, followed by Christopher Columbus in 1492.
– The Atlantic was a center for exploration, colonization by European powers, and the slave trade.
– It hosted naval battles, trade routes, and increased trade and naval activities in the early 20th century.

Bathymetry and Ocean Floor:
– The Atlantic Ocean has an average depth of 3,646m and a maximum depth of 8,376m in the Puerto Rico Trench.
– The Mid-Atlantic Ridge dominates the ocean floor, extending from 87°N to 54°S.
– Submarine mountain ranges influence the ocean floor configuration, with various features like abyssal plains, trenches, and seamounts.
– Continental shelves are wide at specific locations, while the Western Atlantic is dominated by carbonate platforms.
– Walvis Ridge and Rio Grande Rise act as barriers to ocean currents.

Water Characteristics and Salinity:
– The Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest major ocean, with surface salinity ranging from 33 to 37 parts per thousand.
– Water masses in the Atlantic have distinct temperature and salinity characteristics, with four major upper water masses and various intermediate and deep waters.
– The Gulf Stream temperature drops significantly across the North Atlantic, with surface water temperatures varying with latitude and season.
– The Coriolis effect influences water circulation, leading to clockwise circulation in the North Atlantic.
– Salinity varies with latitude, season, and oceanic processes, with high salinity maintained by specific mechanisms like Agulhas Leakage/Rings and Atmospheric Bridge.

Gyres and Sargasso Sea:
– The Atlantic Ocean has warm-water gyres like the North Atlantic Gyre and South Atlantic Gyre.
– The North Atlantic has significant currents like the Gulf Stream, North Atlantic Current, and Subpolar Front, influencing climate variability.
– The Sargasso Sea, enclosed by major currents, hosts unique species like the sargassum fish and serves as a spawning ground for eels.
– The Sargasso Sea’s origin was enigmatic for centuries, with recent research suggesting eels may use Earth’s magnetic field for navigation.
– The Atlantic Ocean’s gyres and currents play a crucial role in climate and oceanic ecosystems.

Climate and Natural Hazards:
– Trade winds in the Atlantic can lead to hurricane formation, with maritime climates having less extreme seasonal variations.
– Oceans are a major source of atmospheric moisture through evaporation, influencing climatic zones across latitudes.
– Natural hazards in the Atlantic include icebergs near Newfoundland, storms from the Icelandic Low, and hurricanes in the western North Atlantic.
– South Atlantic tropical cyclones are rare due to strong wind shear, with polar regions experiencing longer ice seasons but little shipping.
– The Atlantic’s climate and natural hazards are influenced by its geographic location, water characteristics, and oceanic currents.

Atlantic Ocean (Wikipedia)

The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's five oceanic divisions, with an area of about 85,133,000 km2 (32,870,000 sq mi). It covers approximately 17% of Earth's surface and about 24% of its water surface area. During the Age of Discovery, it was known for separating the New World of the Americas (North America and South America) from the Old World of Afro-Eurasia (Africa, Asia, and Europe).

Atlantic Ocean
Map of the Arctic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean excluding its Arctic and Antarctic regions
Coordinates0°N 25°W / 0°N 25°W / 0; -25
Basin countriesList of bordering countries (not drainage basin), ports
Surface area85,133,000 km2 (32,870,000 sq mi)
North Atlantic: 41,490,000 km2 (16,020,000 sq mi),
South Atlantic 40,270,000 km2 (15,550,000 sq mi)
Average depth3,646 m (11,962 ft)
Max. depthPuerto Rico Trench
8,376 m (27,480 ft)
Water volume310,410,900 km3 (74,471,500 cu mi)
Shore length1111,866 km (69,510 mi) including marginal seas
IslandsList of islands
TrenchesPuerto Rico; South Sandwich; Romanche
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.
This video was taken by the crew of Expedition 29 on board the ISS. The pass starts from just northeast of the island of Newfoundland over the North Atlantic Ocean to central Africa, over South Sudan.

Through its separation of Afro-Eurasia from the Americas, the Atlantic Ocean has played a central role in the development of human society, globalization, and the histories of many nations. While the Norse were the first known humans to cross the Atlantic, it was the expedition of Christopher Columbus in 1492 that proved to be the most consequential. Columbus' expedition ushered in an age of exploration and colonization of the Americas by European powers, most notably Portugal, Spain, France, and the United Kingdom. From the 16th to 19th centuries, the Atlantic Ocean was the center of both an eponymous slave trade and the Columbian exchange while occasionally hosting naval battles. Such naval battles, as well as growing trade from regional American powers like the United States and Brazil, both increased in degree during the early 20th century, and while no major military conflicts took place in the Atlantic in the present day, the ocean remains a core component of trade around the world.

The Atlantic Ocean occupies an elongated, S-shaped basin extending longitudinally between Europe and Africa to the east, and the Americas to the west. As one component of the interconnected World Ocean, it is connected in the north to the Arctic Ocean, to the Pacific Ocean in the southwest, the Indian Ocean in the southeast, and the Southern Ocean in the south. Other definitions describe the Atlantic as extending southward to Antarctica. The Atlantic Ocean is divided in two parts, the northern and southern Atlantic, by the Equator.

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