Atlantic Ocean Facts and Figures
The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest body of water in the world and covers one-fifth of the Earth's surface! With the area of approximately 82 million square kilometres not including its surrounding seas and bays. When the Mediterranean, Black, Baltic, North, Norwegian-Greenland, and Caribbean Seas, Baffin and Hudson Bays and the Gulf of Mexico are also considered, its area rises to about 106 million square kilometres. It is the world's second largest ocean, and covers approximately one-fifth of the Earth's surface. This vast expanse of water holds approximately 350 million cubic kilometres of water, and receives about four times more inflow from the rivers of surrounding land regions than either the Pacific or Indian Oceans. Tropical cyclones (hurricanes) develop off the coast of Africa near Cape Verde and move westward into the Caribbean Sea; hurricanes can occur from May to December, but are most frequent from August to November and the natural resources likeoil and gas fields, fish, marine mammals (seals and whales), sand and gravel aggregates, placer deposits, polymetallic nodules, precious stones .
Atlantic Ocean sits in an S-shaped basin that runs in a north-south direction, bounded by Europe and Africa on the east and by North and South America on the west. An ocean basin is a large, deep depression that gradually slopes towards the seafloor, forming the shape of a basin. The Atlantic is divided into the North and South sections by the Equator and is connected to the larger Pacific Ocean via the Arctic Ocean to the north, and by the Drake Passage to the south.
The Atlantic Ocean provides some of the world's most heavily trafficked sea routes, between and within the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. Other economic activity includes the exploitation of natural resources, e.g., fishing, the dredging of aragonite sands (The Bahamas), and production of crude oil and natural gas (Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and North Sea).