The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest of the world’s oceans, with an area of about 106,460,000 square kilometers (41,100,000 square miles). It covers approximately 20 percent of Earth’s surface and about 29 percent of its water surface area. It separates the “Old World” from the “New World“.
The Atlantic Ocean occupies an elongated, S-shaped basin extending longitudinally between Europe and Africa to the east, and the Americas to the west. As one component of the interconnected World Ocean, it is connected in the north to the Arctic Ocean, to the Pacific Ocean in the southwest, the Indian Ocean in the southeast, and the Southern Ocean in the south (other definitions describe the Atlantic as extending southward to Antarctica). The Equatorial Counter Current subdivides it into the North(ern) Atlantic Ocean and the South(ern) Atlantic Ocean at about 8°N.
3 Things to know before downloading
- The oldest known mentions of an “Atlantic”
- The term The Pond is often used by British and American speakers.
- The Atlantic Ocean is bounded on the west by North and South America.
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.
On average, the Atlantic is the saltiest major ocean; surface water salinity in the open ocean ranges from 33 to 37 parts per thousand (3.3–3.7%) by mass and varies with latitude and season.