Where is the continental shelf the widest in North America?
The average width of the shelf is 43 mi (70 km) and varies from tens of meters to approximately 800 mi (1,300 km) depending on location. The widest shelves are in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coasts of Siberia and North America .
Where is the US continental shelf?
The U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) includes the area between state jurisdiction to 200 nautical miles (nm) from shore. State jurisdiction over the seafloor extends from the shoreline out to 3 nm, except for Texas and the Florida Gulf Coast, which extend out to 9 nm.
Why is the continental shelf so important?
Economic significance The relatively accessible continental shelf is the best understood part of the ocean floor. Most commercial exploitation from the sea, such as metallic-ore, non-metallic ore, and hydrocarbon extraction, takes place on the continental shelf.
Where is the continental shelf in the Atlantic Ocean?
The continental margin off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (at 35° North latitude) displays the typical Atlantic Ocean shelf-slope-rise sequence (Fig. 1a).
What is the US continental shelf?
What is the extended continental shelf (ECS)? The ECS is that portion of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from shore. The rules for defining the outer limits of the ECS come from of Article 76 of the Law of the Sea Convention.
What part of North America has the narrowest continental shelf?
The shelf along the mountainous western coast of the United States, for example, is narrow, measuring only about 32 km (20 miles) wide, whereas that fringing the eastern coast extends more than 120 km (75 miles) in width. Exceptionally broad shelves occur off northern Australia and Argentina.
What lives in continental shelf?
Lobster, Dungeness crab, tuna, cod, halibut, sole and mackerel can be found. Permanent rock fixtures are home to anemones, sponges, clams, oysters, scallops, mussels and coral. Larger animals such as whales and sea turtles can be seen in continental shelf areas as they follow migration routes.
How far out is the continental shelf?
A continental shelf typically extends from the coast to depths of 100–200 metres (330–660 feet). It is gently inclined seaward at an average slope of about 0.1°. In nearly all instances, it ends at its seaward edge with an abrupt drop called the shelf break.
What are the characteristics of a continental shelf?
The continental shelf is characterized by a very gentle slope less than 1 degree. The average depth is about 150 m and it has an average width of 70 km. But local variations are common, ranging from more than 1000 km in the Arctic Ocean to a few kilometers along the Pacific coast of North and South America.
Where are continental shelves found?
Normal continental shelves are found in the South China Sea, the North Sea, and the Persian Gulf and are usually about 80 km in width with a depth of 30-600 m.
What is associated with continental shelves?
Earthquakes and volcanoes are associated with active continental margins, which are marked by a landward continental shelf, a much steeper continental slope that ends at an active ocean trench, and an irregular ocean bottom that may contain volcanic hills (Figure 1 ).
Where is the Atlantic shelf?
Continental shelves in the Atlantic are wide off Newfoundland, southern-most South America, and north-eastern Europe. In the western Atlantic carbonate platforms dominate large areas, for example the Blake Plateau and Bermuda Rise.