Ecology And Environment

Description of the Altantic Ocean Biome



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Of the Earth's oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the worlds second largest continuous, connected body of saltwater. This is about one fifth  of the surface of the planet, and extends for 44.1 million square miles, or 106.4 square kilometers.

The Antlantic Ocean separates the North and South American continents from the African and Eurasian continents. It occupies an "S" shaped basin and is part of the interconnected global ocean. The Atlantic connects to the Pacific at the southwest of the planet, the Indian Ocean to the southeast of the planet, the Southern Ocean at the south of the planet and. In some cases the Atlantic Ocean is considered to extend to the Antarctic.

The equator is the point where the North Atlantic and the South Atlantic division occurs. As a result, the Atlantic Ocean biome contains almost every physical environment, from equatorial to arctic that the world has to offer!

Bathymetry is the term that is used to describe the geography or the topography of the ocean bottom. The undersea Mid Atlantic mountain range that reaches "heights" of 2700 meters or 8900 feet below sea level. But Islands exist where the Mid Atlantic mountain peaks rise above the surface.

This mountain range extends from the Iceland in the north to around 58 degrees latitude, or between the tip of South America and the African continent.  There is also the rift valley that extends along this ridge. There is also the Walvis ridge, that is in the South Atlantic. There are transverse ridges that run between the continents which create numerous named basins, such as the Cape Verde basin and the Brazil basin.

The deepest part of the two trenches that the Mid Atlantic Mountain Range creates in the Atlantic Ocean is the Puerto Rican Trench, which reaches 3,700–5,500 meters or 12,000–18,000 ft.

At the intertidal zones, continental shelves and around the islands, the light penetration allows plant life to absorb sunlight and to contribute the carbon dioxide/oxygen changes that support the world's atmosphere. There are the full light, twilight and midnight zones of light penetration, depending on the depth of the ocean, and while nutrients fall to the depths, they become less plentiful.

The tides, currents and upwelling of water allow nutrients to move, rise and fall, supporting the life forms that are plentiful in the full light zones. The Thermohayline circulation is the major current of the interconnected oceans of the Earth. The link will show how the Thermahayline circulation works in the Atlantic Ocean.

The zones of the ocean are the there are the intertidal, pelagic, benthic, abyssal and hadal zones

The Benthic zone is loosely considered to be the silt and soil at the bottom of the ocean, whether it is the daylight zone, sloping continental shelf, the abyss, or the very bottom of the hadal zone, which describes the deepest trenches of the ocean. As humans are able to develop pressure resistant craft, lighting and filming technology, incredibly adaptive and resilient life forms are being discovered at unprecedented depths.

The climate of the Atlantic Ocean is dominated by surface temperature, water currents and winds. The Gulf Stream, Northern Drift and Trade Winds are the main winds. Hurricanes develop in the southern hemisphere.

The water of the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest of the Earth's oceans. Salinity is at the maximum at 25 degrees north and south. The Coriolis Effect causes the water of the Atlantic to circulate in a clockwise direction.

As a biome, the Atlantic Ocean supports the vast array of intertidal, brackish (mixed salt an freshwater), and zonal life forms that adapt to their environments with gusto!

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  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Circulacion_termohalina.jpg
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_Ocean