The Pacific is the largest ocean on Earth, discovered by Ferdinand Magellan. This huge mass of water is stretching from the Arctic to the Southern Ocean from the Bering Sea in Alaska to the Ross Sea in Antarctica. It binds with the Atlantic Ocean through the Bering Strait in the north and south across the Drake Passage and the Strait of Magellan. To the west Asia and Oceania, and east to the Americas.
In simple terms, the Pacific Ocean is twice bigger than the Atlantic and also contains twice the volume of water it: 714 million cubic kilometers. It occupies an area of about 161,760,000 square kilometers (approximately 63.8 million square miles) and includes the Bali Sea, Bering Sea, the Gulf of Alaska, the Gulf of Tonkin, the Coral Sea, the East China Sea, the Philippine Sea, the Sea of Japan, the South China Sea and the Tasman Sea.
Pacific Ocean Properties
The salinity of ocean water is very variable, and depends on three factors:
It is considered that high salinity values correspond to more than 35 parts per thousand or 3.5 percent and low values, less than 3.5 percent, are low salinity levels. In this case, the lowest salinity is perceived in the northern areas End of the Ocean (3.2 percent) and the highest occurs in the southeast, where the water reaches up to 3.7 percent. A greater amount of rainfall, lower salinity and increased evaporation, higher salt concentration.
The temperature of the Pacific Ocean is given in relation to the “layers” of water. Each has a different temperature, therefore, the lower layers are obviously colder. The surface layer, which is between 300 and 900 meters wide, contrasts to the temperatures of the deepest layer, which may be near freezing. Average temperatures range are between -1.4 ° and 30 ° Celsius, the latter present in areas close to Equator. In general, the North Pacific is warmer than the South Pacific.
22 Interesting Facts About the Pacific Ocean
- The name dates back to 1521 when a Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, discovered this ocean. ‘’Pace’’, which means peace, inspired him to name it ‘’mar pacifico’’ – peaceful sea.
- 75% of total still active world’s volcanoes can be found exactly in the Pacific Ocean area. The Ring of Fire is a famous region with hundreds volcanoes that make this ocean even more intriguing and interesting.
- A precious underwater ecosystem, Coral reef, is very frequent in shallow parts of the Pacific Ocean. Many tropical fish species consider this living creature as their home.
- Typhoons, also known as tropical cyclones, occur often in the northwest region of the Pacific Ocean. It’s a strong and scary storm with rain, thunder, and wind included.
- Canada, China, Japan, the United States, Mexico and Australia are some of the 55 countries that border on the Pacific Ocean.
- Mariana Trench is 11,034 meters deep, which is more than any other trench in the world and it’s located in the Pacific Ocean. The depth of Mariana Trench is more than Mount Everest’s height.
- The water’s temperature at the Mariana Trench goes between 1° C TO 4° C, which makes it intolerable for the humans.
- Mariana Trench is believed to be one of the oldest seabeds in the world. According to the researches, it’s over 180 million years old.
- Krakatoa, a volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean, erupted in 1833 and killed over 36,380 people.
- Apart from the deepest trench, Pacific Ocean also has the longest reef in the world, called Great Barrier Reef.
- New Guinea, the second largest world’s island can also be found in the Pacific Ocean. It is right after Greenland, which is the world’s largest island.
- Admiral Roggeveen, a Dutch explorer, discovered an island in the South East part of the Pacific Ocean right on the Easter Sunday and called it Easter Island.
- The Galapagos Islands are very famous thanks to the wildlife and unique species and are located in the Pacific Ocean as well. Some of the creatures cannot be found anywhere else in the world, which makes these islands very popular among ecologists and curious people.
- Over 25,000 islands are located in the Pacific Ocean. The majority can be found in the south of the Equator. This fact makes the Pacific one of the most visited and famous oceans in the world.
- The Pacific Ocean consists of 4 types of islands: Continental islands, high islands, coral reefs and lifted coral platforms.
- Natural resources, such as petroleum and gas can be found in the Pacific Ocean, especially around Australia’s and New Zealand’s coasts. Their extraction occurs in the shallow waters, particularly continental shelves that contain these resources.
- Pacific Ocean’s pearls are being harvested off the coasts of Nicaragua, Panama, the Philippines, Australia, Japan and Papua New Guinea.
- Fishing is very popular in the waters of Pacific Ocean. Many different species can be found, such as swordfish, tuna, sardines, snapper, herring, salmon and shellfish.
- Pacific Ocean is also highly polluted and contains a significant amount of marine debris under people’s influence.
- At its widest point, the diameter of the Pacific Ocean is over five times larger than moon’s diameter.
- Four biggest types of plate boundaries are located under the Pacific Ocean. When they move against the boundaries, different sorts of earthquakes occur around the Ring of Fire, that are not similar to any other types of earthquakes.
- If all the continental masses were placed on the Pacific Ocean, there would still be spare territory.
Climate of the Pacific Ocean
Only the interiors of large masses of Australia, New Guinea, and New Zealand escape the climatic influence of the Pacific. In the Pacific area, there are five zones or different climatic regions:
- The middle latitudes
- The tropics
- Monsoon region
- The typhoons
- Equator (quiet zone)
Anti-trade winds occur in middle latitudes, north, and south of Equator, and carry marked seasonal changes in the northern and southern latitudes. Closer to Equator, where most of the islands are, the constant trade winds carry relatively constant temperatures throughout the year 21-27 degrees Celsius.
The region is far monsoon in the western Pacific, including Japan and Australia. The characteristics of this climatic region are winds that blow from the continental interior to the ocean in winter and in the opposite direction in the summer. Consequently, a marked station clouds and rain occurs. Typhoons often cause extensive damage to the west and southwest Pacific. The greatest frequency of typhoons exists in a triangle that goes from southern Japan to the central Philippines in the eastern Micronesia.
Pacific contains significant oil and gas and its waters are home to thousands of major edible species in the fishing industry. It is also a source of minerals, sand, and gravel for the construction industry. In 1996, approximately 60 percent of the fishing was done in the Pacific Ocean and now fuel reserves contained there have an essential role in the energy supply of the countries bordering its waters.
Navigable waters are used to provide transport services east to west, and strategic navigation routes are in Taiwan, Singapore and the area known as the Torres Strait, located in Oceania.