The Pacific Ocean is the biggest ocean amongst the five oceans on earth. It occupies the area of more than 155.557 million square kilometers (approximately 60.06 million sq miles). It is so vast that it stretches from the Arctic Ocean on the northern side to the southern ocean present in the south of the earth. It is also located between the North America and Asia to Australia to South America. It occupies almost 28% of the space on the earth, which is equivalent to the area of land on the planet.
As it is the biggest water body on the earth, it is accountable for around 46% of the water on the globe. The Pacific Ocean was the final ocean found by the European people. In the year 1513, Balboa, a Spanish explorer is supposed to come across the Pacific Ocean in the month of September. He is trusted to be the first European to find this massive water body.
The Pacific Ocean is divided into two parts by the equator. The northern region is called the North Pacific region while the southern portion is known as the South Pacific region.
The formation of the Pacific Ocean must have taken millions of years just like other oceans on the planet. Due to its enormous size, it has an unparalleled configuration of its surface, i.e., topography. The Pacific Ocean has a huge impact on the climate of the earth. It also plays a significant role in the economy of the world till date.
Climate of the Pacific Ocean
There are diversified climatic conditions in the Pacific Ocean due to its latitude as well as the different variety of air masses present over the ocean. Different landmasses existed in the Pacific Ocean also affect the climate of the ocean. Along with this, the varied temperatures in the upper layer are also responsible for the various climatic conditions as it has a prominent influence on the moisture accessibility in the different zones. The areas surrounding the equator have warm, wet and tropical climates almost all the time across the year, whereas the distant North and South Pacific regions have distinct temperature and weather conditions are hotter and humid with more temperatures. The South Pacific regions are hugely affected by the global warming. Moreover, the time from November to April has been declared the Hurricane season in many parts of the South Pacific. It rains heavily during this period of the year, which is followed by the sunny day.
The Geography of the Pacific Ocean
Locations between the Continents and Related Water Bodies
In the Eastern side, the Ocean expands between the different places in the North America and the South America from the Arctic region to the Antarctic locations. On the other hand, in West zone, it extends from Asia to the continent Australia. The Ocean is also known as the International Date Line, as the region of the imaginary line lies in the Pacific Ocean. This ocean is linked to the Arctic Ocean through the Bering Strait and to the Atlantic Ocean through the Panama Canal, Straits of Magellan and the Drake Passage. The ocean is also linked to the Indian Ocean through the passages in the Malay Archipelago. The Pacific Ocean is as lengthy as 14,500 km (9,000 miles) and as broad as 17,700 km (11,000 miles) in many areas between the Malay Peninsula and the Isthmus of Panama. The main waters of the ocean in the north region are the Bering Sea; while in the southern region is the Ross Sea. It extends to the Gulf of California in the eastern portion and the Sea of Japan, Philippine, Southern and Eastern China, the Sea of Okhotsk as well as the Tasman Seas in the western part. Many big rivers mix into the waters of the Pacific Ocean such as Yangtze and Huang He rivers from China and Columbia River from the North America.
Boundaries and Islands
The eastern border of the Pacific Ocean is abrupt. The gives rise to the high mountains from the deeper sea levels. A narrow continental band is also present at its shore. On the other hand, the Asian boundary is lower and has numerous islands adjacent to its advanced from the broad continental belt. There are many volcanoes also that cover the surroundings of the basins of the Pacific Ocean.
The Pacific Ocean has more than 20,000 islands engrossing the west and south coasts of the ocean. Many of the big islands of the ocean have arisen from the continental belt and hence, are considered a part of the continent of their origin. The examples of such islands are the islands of the SW South America and NW North America, the Malay Archipelago, Japanese arc of islands. The ocean also includes the islands like the Hawaiian Islands, which have many volcanoes as well as islands of Oceania, which are low coral islands.
The bottom of the Pacific Ocean
The level of the Pacific Ocean is usually as deep as 4,300 meter (14,000 ft) and is hugely a plain base. The deepest point of the ocean has 10,911 meter (35,798.6 feet) depth. It is located in the Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench, which is the deepest known point on the planet under water. There are numerous guyots, seamounts, volcanic eruptions and other swells present in the plains of the Pacific Ocean have formed broad Albatross Plateau that envelopes most of the Eastern Central and Southeastern Pacific basins.
Economy of the Pacific Ocean
As the Pacific Ocean covers a massive area of the planet (28% of the total area of land on the planet), it is linked to numerous countries and can provide a medium to connect these countries. The waters of the Pacific are the habitat for the huge variety of species of fishes, different animals as well as numerous plants. Hence, it contributes a great deal towards the economy of many nations. Therefore, along with the flora and fauna, it also offers a channel for carrying the goods from many countries to the others. It is a natural resource for essential fuels such as oil. The Pacific Ocean also provides many minerals and plays a significant role in the fishing industry amongst many nations.