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Country map showing major cities and other features.


Map of Arctic Ocean

DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Arctic Ocean
Background:
Definition Field Listing
The Arctic Ocean is the smallest of the world's five oceans (after the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, and the recently delimited Southern Ocean). The Northwest Passage (US and Canada) and Northern Sea Route (Norway and Russia) are two important seasonal waterways. A sparse network of air, ocean, river, and land routes circumscribes the Arctic Ocean.

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   Geography    Arctic Ocean
Location:
Definition Field Listing
body of water between Europe, Asia, and North America, mostly north of the Arctic Circle
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
90 00 N, 0 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Arctic Region
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 14.056 million sq km
note: includes Baffin Bay, Barents Sea, Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, East Siberian Sea, Greenland Sea, Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait, Kara Sea, Laptev Sea, Northwest Passage, and other tributary water bodies
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly less than 1.5 times the size of the US
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
45,389 km
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
polar climate characterized by persistent cold and relatively narrow annual temperature ranges; winters characterized by continuous darkness, cold and stable weather conditions, and clear skies; summers characterized by continuous daylight, damp and foggy weather, and weak cyclones with rain or snow
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
central surface covered by a perennial drifting polar icepack that averages about 3 meters in thickness, although pressure ridges may be three times that size; clockwise drift pattern in the Beaufort Gyral Stream, but nearly straight-line movement from the New Siberian Islands (Russia) to Denmark Strait (between Greenland and Iceland); the icepack is surrounded by open seas during the summer, but more than doubles in size during the winter and extends to the encircling landmasses; the ocean floor is about 50% continental shelf (highest percentage of any ocean) with the remainder a central basin interrupted by three submarine ridges (Alpha Cordillera, Nansen Cordillera, and Lomonosov Ridge)
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Fram Basin -4,665 m
highest point: sea level 0 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
sand and gravel aggregates, placer deposits, polymetallic nodules, oil and gas fields, fish, marine mammals (seals and whales)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
ice islands occasionally break away from northern Ellesmere Island; icebergs calved from glaciers in western Greenland and extreme northeastern Canada; permafrost in islands; virtually ice locked from October to June; ships subject to superstructure icing from October to May
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
endangered marine species include walruses and whales; fragile ecosystem slow to change and slow to recover from disruptions or damage; thinning polar icepack
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
major chokepoint is the southern Chukchi Sea (northern access to the Pacific Ocean via the Bering Strait); strategic location between North America and Russia; shortest marine link between the extremes of eastern and western Russia; floating research stations operated by the US and Russia; maximum snow cover in March or April about 20 to 50 centimeters over the frozen ocean; snow cover lasts about 10 months

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   Economy    Arctic Ocean
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Economic activity is limited to the exploitation of natural resources, including petroleum, natural gas, fish, and seals.

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   Transportation    Arctic Ocean
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Churchill (Canada), Murmansk (Russia), Prudhoe Bay (US)
Transportation - note:
Definition Field Listing
sparse network of air, ocean, river, and land routes; the Northwest Passage (North America) and Northern Sea Route (Eurasia) are important seasonal waterways

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   Transnational Issues    Arctic Ocean
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
some maritime disputes (see littoral states)

Large portions of this information is from the US government open source publication "The World Factbook", other content copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. You may use this information without permission for educational or other non-profit purposes if you refer to us as the source, contact us if you want to use this commercially.


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