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The Arctic Ocean

Geological Features on the Ocean Floor
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          The Arctic Ocean has the widest continental shelf of all the oceans; it extends out to about 1, 210km towards the sea from Siberia. In the area where the continental shelf lies there are some islands, Arctic Archipelago, Novaya Zemlya, the New Siberian Islands, and the Wrangel Island. Part of the continental shelf is broken off by Greenland.

          The Arctic Ocean is fairly narrow and rather shallow compared to the other oceans. The average depth of the ocean is 1, 205m and the biggest depth is 5,450m north of Svalbord.

The Central Basin in the Arctic Ocean is broken up in to two main basins. One is the Canadian Basin; it has an average depth of 3,800m. The Eurasian Basin is the other main basin and it has an average depth of 4,200m. There are also a number of deep ridges in the Central Basin. The tallest ridge is about 3,000m deep from the ocean floor; it is called the Lomrosov Ridge. The Lomrosov Ridge also has to other ridges that run parallel with it. These two ridges are called the Nansen Ridge and the Alpha Ridge.

There are a number of hydrothermal vents that lie at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. These were just found recently by scientists. The vents can make the water in the area around it heat up to 350 degrees Celsius. This affects the creatures around it. For example if a seal swims buy one of the heat vents it could die because the water is to hot for the seal to handle. 

There is also a bunch of volcanoes found in the Arctic Ocean. These were found the same year the hydrothermal vents were found. The volcanoes are located at Gakkel ridge. They showed much volcanic activity when scientists found them.

Between Svalbard and Greenland there is also a big trench that is 3, 500m in depth.

Even though some of these geological features affect areas of the Arctic Ocean, none of them affect the whole entire ocean.

Last Updated February 10th 2005