Pacific Ocean

Article

January 21, 2022

The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean on Earth. The Pacific is part of the global ocean and has two oceans: the North Pacific and the South Pacific. The Pacific extends over an area of ​​166,241,700 km2, which is about a third of the total surface of the Earth and 21.5 million km2 more than the total surface of the planet Mars. Its area is also greater than that of all the land on the planet. It includes all of Oceania and a few other islands and archipelagos that are traditionally part of Asia (Japan, Philippines, Insulindia). It is surrounded by America, the Antarctic continent, Australia, New Guinea and Asia. The date line crosses it around the 180th meridian.

Geography

Location and boundaries

The illustration in the box of this article shows the Pacific Ocean on a planisphere: the Pacific is divided into north and south, along the equator. The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) divides the Pacific Ocean into seas, gulfs and straits. The limits that the IHO gives for the North Pacific and South Pacific oceans exclude the seas included in each of them. “The lines of demarcation between the oceans […] North Pacific […] and […] South Pacific […] are given by the equator. The southeast boundary between the South Atlantic Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean is the meridian of Cape Horn (67° 17’ W.)” — IHO International Hydrographic Office Its International Hydrographic Organization digital record code is "C", and its identification in Limit of Oceans and Seas is "(57) and (61)"; its French name in the nomenclature of maritime spaces of the National Geographic Information Council is “pacific ocean”. The International Hydrographic Organization defines the boundaries of the North Pacific and South Pacific oceans as follows:

North Pacific Ocean

Its International Hydrographic Organization numeric registration code is '07', and its identification in Limit of Oceans and Seas is (57); its French name in the nomenclature of maritime spaces of the National Geographic Information Council is “North Pacific Ocean”. — International Hydrographic Organization

South Pacific Ocean

Its International Hydrographic Organization numeric registration code is '08', and its identification in 'Limit of Oceans and Seas' is (61); its French name in the nomenclature of maritime spaces of the National Geographic Information Council is “South Pacific Ocean”. — International Hydrographic Organization

Description

The deepest trenches on Earth are found in the Pacific Ocean, with depths exceeding 10,000 meters in the Kuril, Mariana and Philippine trenches. It also has many coral reefs including Christmas Island, the largest and oldest atoll in the world. The Pacific Ocean is traversed by several ridges which sometimes form linear archipelagos on the surface. It contains chains of seamounts formed by hotspots, including the Hawaii-Emperor Seamount Chain and the Louisville Seamount Chain. It is surrounded by the Ring of Fire and experiences many earthquakes. When they occur in the ocean, they cause tsunamis (tidal waves). Between 1900 and 2004, 796 tsunamis were observed in the Pacific Ocean, and 17% of them occurred near Japan. An international warning centre, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, is responsible for observing and warning about these phenomena.

Climatology

We find in the Pacific semi-permanent weather systems such as anticyclones

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