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Encyclopedia > Southern Ocean
Earth's oceans
(World Ocean)

The Southern Ocean, also known as the Great Southern Ocean, the Antarctic Ocean and the South Polar Ocean, is the International Hydrographic Organization's oceanic division encircling Antarctica, comprising the southernmost waters of the World Ocean south of 60° S latitude. Geographers disagree on the Southern Ocean's northern boundary or even its existence (see below), instead considering the waters part of the South Pacific, South Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. The Antarctic Convergence, an ocean zone which fluctuates seasonally, is considered by some to separate the Southern Ocean from other oceans, rather than 60° S.[1] This ocean zone is formed by the convergence of two circumpolar currents, one easterly flowing and one westerly flowing. This article is about Earth as a planet. ... Animated map exhibiting the worlds oceanic waters. ... The term World Ocean refers to the interconnected system of the planet Earths marine waters. ... The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) is an intergovernmental international organization established in 1921. ... Animated map exhibiting the worlds oceanic waters. ... The term World Ocean refers to the interconnected system of the planet Earths marine waters. ... This article is about the geographical term. ... Pacific redirects here. ... The Atlantic Ocean, not including Arctic and Antarctic regions. ... The Antarctic Convergence (also known as the Antarctic Polar Frontal Zone) is a line encircling Antarctica where the cold, northward-flowing Antarctic waters sink beneath the relatively warmer waters of the sub-Antarctic. ...


The Southern Ocean is considered by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) to be the fourth largest of the five principal ocean divisions and the latest to be defined, having been promulgated by a decision of the IHO in 2000, though the term has long been traditional among some mariners. The Southern Ocean had been included in IHO's Limits of Oceans and Seas second edition (1937), dropped from the third edition (1957), and reinstated in the fourth edition (which has yet to be formally adopted due to a number of unresolved disputes). This change reflects the importance placed by oceanographers on ocean currents. The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) is an intergovernmental international organization established in 1921. ... Thermohaline circulation Oceanography (from Ocean + Greek γράφειν = write), also called oceanology or marine science, is the branch of Earth Sciences that studies the Earths oceans and seas. ... Ocean currents (1911) Ocean currents (1943) An ocean current is any more or less continuous, directed movement of ocean water that flows in one of the Earths oceans. ...

Contents

Map from CIA Factbook 2003: Southern Ocean (picture link is [1]). File links The following pages link to this file: Southern Ocean Categories: CIA World Factbook images | Ocean maps ...

Geography

The Southern Ocean includes the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, which circulates around Antarctica, the Amundsen Sea, Bellingshausen Sea, parts of the Drake Passage, Ross Sea, a small part of the Scotia Sea, and Weddell Sea. The total area is 20,327,000 square kilometers (7,848,000 mi²). The Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) is an ocean current that flows from west to east around Antarctica. ... The Amundsen Sea, named for Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen, is an arm of the Southern Ocean off Marie Byrd Land in western Antarctica. ... The Bellingshausen Sea (71°00′S 085°00′W) is an area along the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula between Alexander Island and Thurston Island. ... Drake Passage between South America and Antarctica. ... Map of Antarctica (click to enlarge) Ice in the Ross Sea, Antarctica The Ross Sea is a deep bay of the Southern Ocean in Antarctica between Victoria Land and Marie Byrd Land. ... The Scotia Sea ( 57°30′ S 040°00′ W) is the portion of the Southern Ocean between Tierra Del Fuego, the Antarctic Peninsula, and South Georgia. ... The Weddell Sea is part of the Southern Ocean. ...


The Southern Ocean is different from the other oceans in that its largest boundary, the northern boundary, is not defined by any landmass, but merges into the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. This calls into question why the Southern Ocean should be considered a separate ocean, as opposed to a southward extension of the other three oceans. One reason provided is that much of the water of the Southern Ocean is different from the water in the other oceans. Because of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, that water is transported around the Southern Ocean fairly rapidly, so that the water in the Southern Ocean south of, for example, South America, resembles the water in the Southern Ocean south New Zealand more closely than it resembles the water in the mid-Indian Ocean.


Several processes operate along the coast of Antarctica to produce, in the Southern Ocean, water masses that are not produced elsewhere in the oceans of the Southern Hemisphere. One of these is the Antarctic Bottom Water, a very cold, highly saline, dense water that forms under sea ice. An oceanographic water mass is an identifiable body of water which has physical properties distinct from surrounding water. ... Categories: Possible copyright violations ... An icebreaker navigates through young (1 year old) sea ice Nilas Sea Ice in arctic Sea ice is formed from ocean water that freezes. ...


The Southern Ocean is geologically the youngest of the oceans. It was formed when Antarctica and South America moved apart, opening the Drake Passage, roughly 30 million years ago. The separation of the continents allowed the formation of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... Drake Passage between South America and Antarctica. ...


In many respects, the Southern Ocean is the opposite of the Arctic Ocean, located on the opposite end of the globe. While the Southern Ocean surrounds the Antarctic continent, the Arctic Ocean is surrounded by the Eurasian and North American continents. While the weather in the Southern Ocean is dominated by the frigid landmass at its center, the weather in the Arctic is dominated by the relatively warm Arctic Ocean surrounded by frigid landmasses. While rivers feed freshwater into the Arctic Ocean, the Antarctic continent feeds freshwater glaciers into the Southern Ocean. While sea ice forms at the center of the Arctic Ocean, sea ice forms at the margins of the Antarctic continent.


History

The second edition (1937) of the IHO's Limits of Oceans and Seas included the Southern Ocean; however it was omitted from the third edition (1953) as it was felt its northern hydrographic limits fluctuated with the seasons and that an ocean should be defined as "water surrounded by land" not "water encircling land". Individual member states' hydrographic offices have defined their own boundaries; the United Kingdom used the 55°S parallel.[2]


The IHO readdressed the question in a survey in 2000. Of the 68 member nations, 28 responded to and all responding members except Argentina agreed to define a new ocean. The name Southern Ocean was selected with 18 votes, beating the alternative Antarctic Ocean. Half of the votes were cast for ending the ocean at the 60 degrees south line of latitude (with no land interruptions at this latitude), with the other 14 votes cast for other definitions, mostly 50 degrees south, but a few for as far north as 35 degrees south.


Other sources such as the National Geographic Society continue to show the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans as extending to Antarctica. This article is about the organization. ... The Atlantic Ocean, not including Arctic and Antarctic regions. ... Pacific redirects here. ...

Many maps of Australia show the Southern Ocean lying immediately to the south of Australia.
Many maps of Australia show the Southern Ocean lying immediately to the south of Australia.

In Australia the Southern Ocean was defined also to include the entire body of water between Antarctica and the south coasts of Australia and New Zealand. Coastal maps of Tasmania and South Australia label the sea areas as Southern Ocean,[3] while Cape Leeuwin in Western Australia is described as the point where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet. Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Slogan or Nickname: Island of Inspiration; The Apple Isle; Holiday Isle Motto(s): Ubertas et Fidelitas (Fertility and Faithfulness) Other Australian states and territories Capital Hobart Government Constitutional monarchy Governor William Cox Premier Paul Lennon (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 5  - Senate seats 12 Gross State Product (2004-05)  - Product... Capital Adelaide Government Constitutional monarchy Governor Marjorie Jackson-Nelson Premier Mike Rann (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 11  - Senate seats 12 Gross State Product (2004-05)  - Product ($m)  $59,819 (5th)  - Product per capita  $38,838/person (7th) Population (End of September 2006)  - Population  1,558,200 (5th)  - Density  1. ... Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, Western Australia The most south-westerly mainland point of the Australian Continent, in the state of Western Australia. ... Slogan or Nickname: Wildflower State or the Golden State Other Australian states and territories Capital Perth Government Constitutional monarchy Governor Ken Michael Premier Alan Carpenter (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 15  - Senate seats 12 Gross State Product (2005-06)  - Product ($m)  $107,910 (4th)  - Product per capita  $53,134/person...


Features

The Southern Ocean is located in the Southern Hemisphere possessing typical depths between 4,000—5,000 meters (13,000 to 16,000 ft) deep over most of its extent with only limited areas of shallow water. The Antarctic continental shelf is generally narrow and unusually deep, its edge lying at depths up to 800 meters (2,600 ft), compared to a global mean of 133 meters (436 ft). Tha Antarctic continental shelf is a geological feature that underlies the Southern Ocean, surrounding the continent of Antarctica. ...


Equinox to Equinox in line with the sun's seasonal influence, the Antarctic ice pack fluctuates from an average minimum of 2.6 million square kilometers (1.0 million mi²) in March to about 18.8 million square kilometers (7.2 million mi²) in September, more than a sevenfold increase in area. For other uses, see Equinox (disambiguation). ...


The Antarctic Circumpolar Current moves perpetually eastward—chasing and joining itself, and at 21,000 kilometers (13,000 mi) in length— it is the world's longest ocean current, transporting 130 million cubic meters (4.6 billion ft³) of water per second—100 times the flow of all the world's rivers.


Its greatest depth is 7,235 meters (23,737 ft) at the southern end of the South Sandwich Trench, at 60°00'S, 024°W. The South Sandwich Trench is the deepest trench of the Southern Atlantic Ocean, and the second deepest of the Atlantic Ocean, after the Puerto Rico Trench. ...


Climate

Sea temperatures vary from about −2 to 10 °C (28 to 50 °F). Cyclonic storms travel eastward around the continent and frequently are intense because of the temperature contrast between ice and open ocean. The ocean area from about latitude 40 south to the Antarctic Circle has the strongest average winds found anywhere on Earth. In winter the ocean freezes outward to 65 degrees south latitude in the Pacific sector and 55 degrees south latitude in the Atlantic sector, lowering surface temperatures well below 0 degrees Celsius; at some coastal points intense persistent drainage winds from the interior keep the shoreline ice-free throughout the winter. Celsius is, or relates to, the Celsius temperature scale (previously known as the centigrade scale). ... For other uses, see Fahrenheit (disambiguation). ...


Natural resources

Pumpjack pumping an oil well near Lubbock, Texas Ignacy Łukasiewicz - creator of the process of refining of kerosene from crude oil. ... Gas phase particles (atoms, molecules, or ions) move around freely Gas is one of the four major states of matter, consisting of freely moving atoms or molecules without a definite shape and without a definite volume. ...  Sediment  Rock  Mantle The continental shelf is the extended perimeter of each continent, which is covered during interglacial periods such as the current epoch by relatively shallow seas (known as shelf seas) and gulfs. ... Polymetallic nodules, also called manganese nodules, are rock concretions on the sea bottom formed of concentric layers of iron and manganese hydroxides around a core. ... In geology, a placer deposit is a deposit of earth, sand, or gravel, containing valuable minerals in particles, especially by the side of a river, or in the bed of a mountain stream. ... For other uses, see Iceberg (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Squid (disambiguation). ... This article is about the animal. ... subfamilies Otariidae Phocidae Odobenidae Pinnipeds are large marine mammals belonging to the Pinnipedia, a family (sometimes a suborder or superfamily, depending on the classification scheme) of the order Carnivora. ... Families Euphausiidae Euphausia Dana, 1852 Meganyctiphanes Holt and W. M. Tattersall, 1905 Nematobrachion Calman, 1905 Nematoscelis G. O. Sars, 1883 Nyctiphanes G. O. Sars, 1883 Pseudeuphausia Hansen, 1910 Stylocheiron G. O. Sars, 1883 Tessarabrachion Hansen, 1911 Thysanoessa Brandt, 1851 Thysanopoda Latreille, 1831 Bentheuphausiidae Bentheuphausia amblyops Krill are shrimp-like marine... For other uses, see Fish (disambiguation). ...

Natural hazards

Icebergs can be found at any time of year throughout the ocean. Some may have drafts up to several hundred meters; smaller icebergs, iceberg fragments and sea ice (generally 0.5 to 1 meter thick) are also a problem for ships. The deep continental shelf is floored by glacial deposits varying widely over short distances. An iceberg (berg is the German word for mountain) is a large piece of ice that has broken off from a glacier or ice shelf and is floating in open water. ...


Latitudes from 50 to 70 degrees south are known to sailors as the "furious fifties" and the "shrieking sixties" due to high winds and large waves that form as winds blow around the entire globe unimpeded by any land mass. Ship ice, especially in May to October, make the area even more dangerous. The remoteness of the region makes sources of search and rescue scarce. Furious Fifties Winds found in the 50 degree lattitude south - close to Antarctica and closely related to the weather patterns found in the region. ... The Shrieking Sixties are winds found in the latitudes below 60°S - close to Antarctica. ...


Environment

Current issues

Increased solar ultraviolet radiation resulting from the Antarctic ozone hole has reduced marine primary productivity (phytoplankton) by as much as 15% and is damaging the DNA of some fish[citation needed]. Illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, especially the landing of an estimated five to six times more Patagonian toothfish than the regulated fishery, likely affects the sustainability of the stock. There is also a high incidental mortality of seabirds resulting from long-line fishing for toothfish. For other uses, see Ultraviolet (disambiguation). ... Image of the largest antarctic ozone hole ever recorded in September 2000. ... Diagrams of some typical phytoplankton Phytoplankton are the autotrophic component of plankton. ... The structure of part of a DNA double helix Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is a nucleic acid molecule that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms. ... Binomial name Dissostichus eleginoides Smitt, 1898 The Patagonian Toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) is a large fish found in the cold, temperate waters (from 50 to 3850m) of the Southern Atlantic, Southern Pacific, Indian and Southern Oceans on seamounts and continental shelves around most sub-Antarctic islands. ...


International agreements

The Southern Ocean is subject to all international agreements regarding the world's oceans. In addition, it is subject to these agreements specific to the region:

Many nations prohibit mineral resource exploration and exploitation south of the fluctuating Polar Front[citation needed], which is in the middle of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and serves as the dividing line between the very cold polar surface waters to the south and the warmer waters to the north. International Whaling Commission Logo The International Whaling Commission (IWC) was set up by the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW)[1] on December 2, 1946 to promote and maintain whale fishery stocks. ... The crew of the oceanographic research vessel Princesse Alice, of Albert Grimaldi (later Prince Albert I of Monaco) pose while flensing a catch. ... The Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary is a protected area of 50 million square km. ... The Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals is part of the Antarctic Treaty System. ... For other uses, see Mineral (disambiguation). ...


Since the Antarctic Treaty covers the portion of the globe south of sixty degrees south, claims to Antarctica and all islands in the Southern Ocean are suspended. For the Antarctic Treaty from the Gundam anime, see Antarctic Treaty (Gundam) The Antarctic Treaty and related agreements, collectively called the Antarctic Treaty System or ATS, regulate the international relations with respect to Antarctica, Earths only uninhabited continent. ...


Economy

Fisheries in 1998-99 between 1 July and 30 June landed 119,898 tonnes, of which 85% was krill and 14% Patagonian toothfish. International agreements were adopted in late 1999 to reduce illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, which in the 1998-99 season landed five to six times more Patagonian toothfish than the regulated fishery. In the 1998-99 Antarctic summer 10,013 tourists, most of them seaborne, visited the Southern Ocean and Antarctica, compared to 9,604 the previous year. Nearly 16,000 tourists were expected during the 1999-2000 season. is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 181st day of the year (182nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the metric tonne. ...


Ports and harbors

Severe cracks in an ice pier in use for four seasons at McMurdo Station slowed cargo operations in 1983 and proved to be a safety hazard.

Few ports or harbors exist on the southern (Antarctic) coast of the Southern Ocean since ice conditions limit use of most of them to short periods in midsummer; even then some cannot be entered without icebreaker escort. Most Antarctic ports are operated by government research stations and, except in an emergency, are not open to commercial or private vessels; vessels in any port south of 60 degrees south are subject to inspection by Antarctic Treaty observers. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (918x643, 358 KB)USNS Southern Cross cargo operations at ice pier. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (918x643, 358 KB)USNS Southern Cross cargo operations at ice pier. ... Severe cracks in an ice pier in use for four seasons at McMurdo Station slowed cargo operations in 1983 and proved to be a safety hazard. ... McMurdo Station from Observation Hill. ...


Major ports that are operational include: Esperanza Base, Villa Las Estrellas, Chile, Mawson Station, McMurdo Station, Palmer Station, and offshore anchorages in Antarctica. The Argentine Base Esperanza (Spanish Hope Base) is located at 63°24′ S 56°59′ W, Hope Bay, Trinity Peninsula, Antarctic Peninsula. ... Villa Las Estrellas is the only permanent settlement in Antarctica, that has families with children. ... Research stations and territorial claims in Antarctica (2002). ... McMurdo Station from Observation Hill. ... Palmer Station Palmer Station, located on Anvers Island (), is Antarcticas only U.S. station north of the Antarctic Circle. ...


The Southern Ocean's southern-most port is located at McMurdo Station at 77°50′S, 166°40′E. The small harbor on the southern tip of Ross Island is formed by Winter Quarters Bay, where summer port operations are made possible by a floating Ice pier. Operation Deep Freeze personnel constructed the first ice pier at McMurdo in 1973.[4] Map of Ross Island orthographic projection centred over Ross Island Ross Island is an island formed by three volcanoes in the Ross Sea by Antarctica, off the coast of Victoria Land in McMurdo Sound at . ... Winter Quarters Bays use as a seaport began in 1901 with Robert F. Scotts Discovery Expedition Winter Quarters Bay is a small cove of McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, located 2,200 miles (3,500 km) due south of New Zealand at 77°50S. The harbor is the southern... Severe cracks in an ice pier in use for four seasons at McMurdo Station slowed cargo operations in 1983 and proved to be a safety hazard. ... Operation Deep Freeze I was the codename for a series of scientific expeditions to Antarctica in 1955–56. ...




See also

The Antarctic Treaty and related agreements, collectively called the Antarctic Treaty System or ATS, regulate international relations with respect to Antarctica, Earths only continent without a native population. ... This is a list of the extreme points of the Antarctic, the points of antarctic and sub-antarctic lands that are farther to the south than any other location classified by continent and country. ... The Roaring Forties is a name given, especially by sailors, to the latitudes between 40° and 50°, so called because of the boisterous and prevailing westerly winds. ...

References

  1. ^ Pyne, Stephen J.; The Ice: A Journey to Antarctica. University of Washington Press, 1986. NOTE: Despite the title, Pyne's work is not a travel journal. Instead, Pyne presents a well-researched study of Antarctica's exploration, earth sciences, icescape, esthetics, literature, and geopolitics.
  2. ^ (1953) Limits of Oceans and Seas (Special publication No. 28), 3rd edition, Monte-Carlo: International Hydrographic Organization, p.4. Retrieved on 2007-04-30. 
  3. ^ Map showing Australian definition of the Southern Ocean (PDF).
  4. ^ "Unique ice pier provides harbor for ships," Antarctic Sun. January 8, 2006; McMurdo Station, Antarctica.

Casino at night with a fountain in front Monte Carlo is the wealthiest of Monacos four quarters, sometimes erroneously believed to be the countrys capital, even though there formally is none. ... The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) is an intergovernmental international organization established in 1921. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 120th day of the year (121st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... “PDF” redirects here. ...

Further reading

  • Gille, Sarah T. 2002. "Warming of the Southern Ocean since the 1950s": abstract, article. Science: vol. 295 (no. 5558), pp. 1275-1277.
  • Descriptive Regional Oceanography, P. Tchernia, Pergamon Press, 1980.
  • Matthias Tomczak and J. Stuart Godfrey. 2003. Regional Oceanography: an Introduction. (see the site)

Science is the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). ...

External links

Look up Southern Ocean in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Coordinates: 70° S 150° W Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ... Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Southern Ocean - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1116 words)
The Southern Ocean, also known as the South Polar Ocean (and formerly the Antarctic Ocean), is the body of water encircling the continent of Antarctica.
Half of the votes were cast for ending the ocean at the imaginary 60 degrees south line of latitude (with no land interruptions at this latitude), with the other 14 votes cast for other definitions as far north as 35 degrees south.
Since the Antarctic Treaty covers the portion of the globe south of sixty degrees south, claims to Antarctica and all islands in the Southern Ocean are suspended.
Indian Ocean - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1652 words)
It is bounded on the north by Southern Asia; on the west by the Arabian Peninsula and Africa; on the east by the Malay Peninsula, the Sunda Islands, and Australia; and on the south by the Southern Ocean.
The northernmost extent of the Indian Ocean is approximately 30° north latitude in the Persian Gulf.
On December 26, 2004, the countries surrounding the Indian Ocean were hit by a tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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