Q:

How deep is the Arctic Ocean?

A:

Quick Answer

The average depth of the Arctic Ocean is approximately 3,953 feet. Its deepest point, which measures 18,456 feet, is located at the latitude of 77 degrees and 45 minutes North and the longitude of 175 degrees West.

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Full Answer

Earth is composed of approximately 70 percent water surface and 30 percent land surface. The planet's waters are geographically separated into five massive expanses of sea bodies called oceans. From the largest to the smallest, Earth's five oceans are the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern and Arctic. Aside from being the smallest in terms of area, the Arctic Ocean is also the shallowest among the five oceans.

The Arctic Ocean surrounds the Arctic region in the Northern Hemisphere. The Arctic's oceanic basin is an immense, bowl-shaped depression on the ocean floor that is constantly blanketed by the northern polar ice cap. The exceedingly cold temperatures in the Arctic Ocean cause the surface of the seawater to become frozen for most part of the year, which results in the difficulty of conducting bathymetry tests to measure the depths of various sections of the ocean. The seafloor of the Arctic Ocean is the least researched among the five major bodies of water.

Modern bathymetry methods use echo sounding to gauge water depth. However, this technique is not commonly used in the Arctic Ocean, and most oceanographers rely on analyzing icebreakers, ice islands and submarines to estimate the depth of the Arctic Ocean. As of 2015, a large portion of the Arctic Ocean remains unexplored.

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