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Southern Ocean, also called Antarctic Ocean, the southern portions of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans and their tributary seas surrounding Antarctica. Unbroken by any other continental landmass, the Southern Ocean’s narrowest constriction is the Drake Passage, 600 miles (about 1,000 km) wide, between South America và the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.
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The structure of the ocean floor includes a continental shelf usually less than 160 miles (about 260 km) wide that attains its maximum width of more than 1,600 miles (2,600 km) in the vicinity of the Weddell & Ross seas. There are oceanic basins farther north that are as much as 14,800 feet (4,500 metres) deep, defined by oceanic rises and often marked by ranges of abyssal hills. There are also narrow oceanic trenches with high relief, such as the South Sandwich Trench on the eastern side of the South Sandwich Islands. Other relief features include oceanic plateaus that rise from the oceanic basins lớn depths of less than 6,650 feet (2,000 metres) below sea cấp độ & khung rather flat regions, which are often covered by relatively thiông xã sedimentary deposits. The most extensive sầu such plateau is the Campbell, or New Zeal&, Plateau, which rises southeast of New Zealvà and extends southward beyond the Campbell Islands.
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Scientists searching for new species of sea life in the Southern Ocean.
The flow of currents in the Southern Ocean is complex. Water cooled by cold air, outgoing radiation, và katabatic winds off of the Antarctic continent sinks and flows northward along the ocean bottom và is replaced at the surface by an equal volume of warmer water flowing south from the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. The meeting point of the two is the Antarctic Convergence, where conditions favour the development of phytoplankton, consisting of diatoms and other single-celled plants. The ocean’s most important organism in the higher food chain is the small, shrimplượt thích krill. Animals on the sea bottom of the near-shore zone include the sessile hydrozoans, corals, sponges, & bryozoans, as well as the foraging, crablượt thích sea spiders & isopods, the annelid worm polychaete, echinoids, starfish, & a variety of crustaceans và mollusks. At the sea bottom there are also eelpouts, sea snails, rat-tailed fishes, & codlike fishes. Rare nonbony types of fish include hagfish & skates. Many species of deep-sea fish are known south of the Antarctic Convergence, but only three, a barracuda and two lantern fishes, seem to be confined khổng lồ this zone.The Editors of Encyclopaedia gocnhintangphat.comThis article was most recently revised và updated by Adam Augustyn, Managing Editor, Reference Content.