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Bodies of Water
I. Arctic Ocean
a. North Pole was first reached in 1909 by American Robert Peary
b. Large influx of fresh water from Ob, Yenisey and Lena rivers. Warm and salty
water comes in from the Atlantic but there is a lot of cold water leaving into the
Atlantic from the Arctic
c. 80% of the Arctic Water exchange happens with the Atlantic while the remaining
20% happens with the Pacific
d. Ocean floor is separated by the Lomonsov Ridge
e. Baffin Bay
i. Between Greenland and Baffin Island
f. Beaufort Sea
i. West of Canadian Arctic Archipelago and gets its freshwater from
Mackenzie River
ii. Lot of Oil Exploration from Alaska and Canada
g. Barents Sea
i. Marks boundary between the Atlantic and Arctic and is in the middle of
the Water exchange at Fram Strait
ii. It is a very shallow sea. Warm water from the North Atlantic Drift makes
it ice free during the summer.
iii. The warm, salty Atlantic water meets cold, less saline Arctic water
producing an area of high biological productivity. There is a spring bloom
of phytoplankton where melting ice produce a stable surface layer.
h. Greenland Sea
i. A major area of sea ice formation in the Arctic. It is continually formed
during the winter due to the East Greenland Current’s divergence of
surface water to the east.
II. Atlantic Ocean
a. Reykjanes Ridge
i. Splits Iceland is a part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge
b. Gulf of St. Lawrence
i. Lies between the mouth of the St. Lawrence, Newfoundland and Cape
Bretton Island
ii. The Lurentian Trough runts through the middle of it and channels
sediment from the river to the Atlantic Ocean forming a Laurentian Fan.
iii. Largest freshwater input into the Atlantic from the East coast
c. Gulf of Maine and Bay of Fundy
i. Much of this was above sea level during the last ice age.
ii. Bay of Fundy is between Nova Scotia and St. John and it acts like a funnel
producing tidal ranges of up to 43 ft.
d. Grand Banks
i. A large area of continental shelf extending from Newfoundland.
ii. Known for dense fog and the Labrador Current is known to bring icebergs
into the area. Titanic sank just south of the Grand Banks.
e. Norwegian Sea
i. Lies between Iceland and Norway and is separated from the Atlantic by
the Faeroe-Iceland Ridge
ii. Kept free of ice by the warm North Atlantic Drift the flows from Scotland
Baltic Sea
i. Shallow enclosed inland sea with little tide and branches out into Gulf of
Bothnia and Gulf of Finland.
ii. It does not the warmth air from the NAD and thus contains a lot of ice
cover in the more northern regions
iii. A large influx of freshwater makes it have a low salinity and is the Largest
area of Brackish Water in the world
iv. Only outflow is the North Sea and only connection is the Kattegat Bay and
Skagerrak Strait
v. World’s first commercial wind farm was built here by Denmark
North Sea
i. Water from the Atlantic enters from the Orkney and Shetland Islands and
the English Channel leading to a counterclockwise circulation
ii. Contains oil and gas deposits west of the Norwegian Trench
Bay of Biscay
i. Lies between the Brittany and the Iberian Peninsulas.
ii. Northern part is very shallow due to the continental shelf. This creates
heavy seas as there is a sudden depth difference
iii. Azores-Biscay Rise and Charcot Seamounts are inactive crustal fractures
Azores Islands
i. Found at the triple junction between the Eurasian, African and North
American plates.
ii. The Capelinhos volcano is found here
Canary Islands
i. Lie of the coast of Morocco and Western Sahara. They are on a mantle
ii. Pico del Teide on Tenerife Island is the third largest volcano on earth
Mediterranean Sea
i. There is a counter-clockwise circulation in the Western part of the sea.
The Balearic and Algerian Basins are laden with sediment while the
ii. Tyrrhenian Sea (West of Italy) is full of seamounts.
1. Contains a chain of active volcanoes (Vesuvius, Etna, Stromboli)
2. These were formed by the African plate subducting underneath the
Eurasian plate
3. Strait of Messina connects it to the Ionian Sea
a. Notorious for its whirlpools
iii. Eastern and Western parts are separated by Sicily and Malta and Tunisian
1. Surface water becomes more saline as it travels eastward and the
rocks are older towards the east
iv. Adriatic Sea separates Italy from the Balkans and is a branch of the
eastern part
v. Aegean Sea
1. Source of most of the Mediterranean’s cold and saline deep water
2. There is a volcanic arc that spreads through this sea and has almost
a thousand islands.
3. The islands of Santorini in the Cyclades remains the largest
volcanic explosion in the last ten thousand years
l. Black Sea
i. Is a very enclosed inland sea and hter is very little mixing that goes with
the Mediterranean sea
ii. There is a lot of influx of freshwater from rivers such as the Dnieper.
iii. Decaying organic matter consumes all the oxygen in the water and is the
largest oxygen free water
iv. A remnant of the Tethys Sea and is very deep in the southern part of the
m. Gulf of Mexico
i. Enclosed by parts of N. America and is rich in oil deposits
ii. Circulation is weak and the water becomes more salty as it is heated up.
The beginnings of the Gulf Stream start through the Straits of Florida
n. Caribbean Sea
i. It is bordered by the Americas and the Antilles.
ii. It is used to be part of the Pacific Ocean floor and is moving eastward and
the Puerto Rico Trench is a product of the subduction that occurs between
the Caribbean plate and the Atlantic plate.
o. Sargasso Sea
i. Bounded by Ocean currents and is found in the North Atlantic Southeast
of Bermuda.
ii. Large mats of yellow-brown sargassum seaweed float on the surface
providing a shelter and food for many crustaceans and freshwater eels.