ocean, interconnected mass of saltwater covering 70.78% of the surface of the earth, often called the world ocean. It is subdivided into four (or five) major units that are separated from each other in most cases by the continental masses. See also oceanography.
Sections in this article:
- Trenches, Plains, and Ridges
- Continental Shelves, Slopes, and Rises
- Relationship of the Ocean and the Atmosphere
- Importance of the Ocean
- The Ocean as a Biological Environment
- The World Ocean
- Currents and Ocean Circulation
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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