Atlantic Ocean – With an area of about 41.1 million square miles, the Atlantic Ocean, the world’s second largest ocean covers approximately 20% of the Earth’s surface and about 29% of its water surface area. This separates the Old World (Africa, Asia, and Europe) from the New World (majority of Western Hemisphere, specifically Americas).
Named after the god of Atlas from Greek mythology, its name means “seas of Atlas.”
The Atlantic is S shaped and narrow in relation to length. It isn’t the largest of the world’s oceans but, it has by far the largest drainage area. By drainage it means, both sides of the Atlantic tend to slope towards it that it receives the waters of great proportion from the major rivers of the world.
Bounded on the west by North and South Africa, Atlantic Ocean also connects to the Arctic Ocean through Denmark Strait, Norwegian Sea, Greenland Sea, and Barents Sea. Mediterranean Sea also connects with it through Strait of Gibraltar. The 20° East Meridian defines the border between Atlantic and Indian Ocean.
Present in the Atlantic are natural hazards like that of icebergs located in Davis Strait, Denmark Strait, and Northwestern Atlantic. Thick fogs and icing in extreme northern locations and hurricanes that post threat from months of May to December.
The Mid Atlantic Ridge is an immense median mountain range extending all over the length of the Atlantic it the exceptional feature of the Atlantic Floor. It claims the center third of the ocean bed attaining almost 1,000 miles in extent. The large unstable island arcs were formed by the Lesser Antilles and the South Sandwich Islands. These arcs are found in steep sided narrow gashes that drop to more than 7600 meters below sea level and more than 10,000 feet below the floors of adjacent basins.
Bordering Countries and Territories
This is the list of countries, states and territories with a coastline on Atlantic Ocean;
Ocean Water Characteristics
Latitude, current systems, and seasons that reflect the latitudinal distribution of solar energy affects Atlantic Ocean’s surface water temperatures. North of the equator gets maximum temperatures and minimal values are being come across by the polar regions. Salinity values differ from one area of the Atlantic Ocean to another. North Atlantic is at its highest at 35.5 parts per thousand while lowest at Southern Atlantic at 34.5. The variance is the effect of the intense evaporation in the Mediterranean and the outflow from the sea.
As that of the salinity values of Atlantic Ocean, its weather is different from North and South too. North Atlantic is greatly determined by wind currents and air masses coming from North America. South Atlantic however, is the belt of prevailing westerlies.
Terrain and Natural Resources
From North to South, there’s a relatively broad area of continental shelf that have given Atlantic Ocean a proliferation of plants and animal species. There are large variety of sea weeds, algae of commercial value, and large communities of crustaceans and fishes.
The Atlantic has also been used as oceanic highways to transport goods and passengers. The first records of extensive trading linkages are from Egyptian, Greek, Phoenician and Roman Civilizations dating far back 1500AD.