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Arctic Ocean - MARS 1010 Arctic Oceanography Dr Yager Key...

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MARS 1010 Arctic Oceanography Dr. Yager Key Points: 1. The Arctic Ocean has several features that make it unique and important to the global ecosystem. 2. The Arctic is not a biological desert. 3. The Arctic is neither pristine nor invulnerable. 4. What happens to the Arctic affects both local inhabitants and the global ecosystem. Objectives: A. Be able to discuss the following unique features of the Arctic: 1. Bathymetry: a coastal ocean Very shallow compared to the rest of the oceans. Average depth is 1000m. Has a spreading center at the Gakkel ridge, meaning it has lots of hydrothermal vents. About 25% of the world’s continental shelf are is in the Arctic Ocean Over 1/3 of the arctic ocean area is shallower than 200m; 25% of all the continental shelf area in the world is in the Arctic (5x more shelf than average). Also notable, however, is the Gakkel (an active spreading ridge extending north from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge) where active hydrothermal vents were recently discovered. 2. Currents: links to Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, like an estuary Currents act like an estuary because it mixes Atlantic, Pacific, and many rivers as sources of water. (10% of world’s total river discharge).
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