25 Facts About Atlantic


Atlantic Ocean occupies an elongated, S-shaped basin extending longitudinally between Europe and Africa to the east, and North and South America to the west.

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In contrast, the term "Atlantic" originally referred specifically to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and the sea off the Strait of Gibraltar and the North African coast.

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Atlantic Ocean is bounded on the west by North and South America.

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Atlantic has irregular coasts indented by numerous bays, gulfs and seas.

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Bathymetry of the Atlantic is dominated by a submarine mountain range called the Mid-Atlantic Ridge .

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Continental shelves in the Atlantic are wide off Newfoundland, southernmost South America, and north-eastern Europe.

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The south tides in the Atlantic Ocean are semi-diurnal; that is, two high tides occur every 24 lunar hours.

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The wide range of salinities in the North Atlantic is caused by the asymmetry of the northern subtropical gyre and the large number of contributions from a wide range of sources: Labrador Sea, Norwegian-Greenland Sea, Mediterranean, and South Atlantic Intermediate Water.

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The NADW is fed by a flow of warm shallow water into the northern North Atlantic which is responsible for the anomalous warm climate in Europe.

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Large variations in the subpolar gyre on a decade-century scale, associated with the North Atlantic oscillation, are especially pronounced in Labrador Sea Water, the upper layers of the MOC.

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South Atlantic is dominated by the anti-cyclonic southern subtropical gyre.

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Gulf Stream and its northern extension towards Europe, the North Atlantic Drift is thought to have at least some influence on climate.

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Atlantic Ocean is underlain mostly by dense mafic oceanic crust made up of basalt and gabbro and overlain by fine clay, silt and siliceous ooze on the abyssal plain.

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The oldest oceanic crust in the Atlantic is up to 145 million years and situated off the west coast of Africa and east coast of North America, or on either side of the South Atlantic.

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Opening of the Atlantic Ocean coincided with the initial break-up of the supercontinent Pangaea, both of which were initiated by the eruption of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province, one of the most extensive and voluminous large igneous provinces in Earth's history associated with the Triassic–Jurassic extinction event, one of Earth's major extinction events.

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Geologically, the Northern Atlantic is the area delimited to the south by two conjugate margins, Newfoundland and Iberia, and to the north by the Arctic Eurasian Basin.

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The opening of the Northern Atlantic closely followed the margins of its predecessor, the Iapetus Ocean, and spread from the Central Atlantic in six stages: Iberia–Newfoundland, Porcupine–North America, Eurasia–Greenland, Eurasia–North America.

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The opening of the North Atlantic caused significant uplift of continental crust along the coast.

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North Atlantic Ocean contains about 810 seamounts, most of them situated along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

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Geologically the South Atlantic can be divided into four segments: Equatorial segment, from 10°N to the Romanche Fracture Zone ; Central segment, from RFZ to Florianopolis Fracture Zone ; Southern segment, from FFZ to the Agulhas-Falkland Fracture Zone ; and Falkland segment, south of AFFZ.

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Early settlements across the Atlantic have been suggested by alternative theories, ranging from purely hypothetical to mostly disputed, including the Solutrean hypothesis and some of the Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact theories.

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From Columbus to the Industrial Revolution Trans-Atlantic trade, including colonialism and slavery, became crucial for Western Europe.

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Atlantic Ocean became the scene of one of the longest continuous naval military camapaigns throughout World War II, from 1939 to 1945.

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Atlantic has contributed significantly to the development and economy of surrounding countries.

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Besides major transatlantic transportation and communication routes, the Atlantic offers abundant petroleum deposits in the sedimentary rocks of the continental shelves.

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