The oceanic basin picture above is only a small part of the Atlantic Ocean Basin
An oceanic basin is the land surface under an ocean that includes the various topography below the water.
This includes the continental shelf, abyssal plain, mid-ocean ridge and other formations that may exist on the seafloor. Another definition of an oceanic basin refers specifically to the abyssal plain that lies between higher formations such as a continental shelf and mid-ocean ridge.
An ocean basin is formed when water has covered a large portion of the Earth’s crust. In the distant past, this may have happened when there was an increase in available water, or a fall of landmass. Over a long period of time, an oceanic basin can be created by the spreading of the seafloor and the movement of tectonic plates. The Atlantic Ocean Basin as it exists today was created over millions of years, as the continents of Europe, Africa and America separated, riding on tectonic plates.
An oceanic basin is equal in size to the ocean above. The Pacific Ocean Basin is large enough to hold the land mass of all seven continents.
An oceanic basin can be found below an ocean.
• Atlantic Ocean Basin
• Indian Ocean Basin
• Arctic Ocean Basin
• Pacific Ocean Basin
The Atlantic Ocean Basin covers approximately 29 million square miles of the Earth’s surface, extending from the Arctic Ocean in the north, to the Southern Ocean above Antarctica. The average depth of the basin is 12,881 feet and the deepest point is the Puerto Rico Trench at 28,231 feet below the water.
The Indian Ocean Basin has 26 million square miles of underwater land surface, bordered by Africa in the west, Australia in the east, India to the north and the Southern Ocean. The basin has an average depth of 13,800 feet, and the deepest point is 23,812 feet below water in the Java Trench.
The Southern Ocean was officially designated by the International Hydrographic Organization in the year 2000, but does not have a true ocean basin. It surrounds the continent of Antarctica and extends northward to 60 degrees of latitude, where it meets the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans.
The Arctic Ocean Basin has over 5 million square miles, Approximately one third of this is the continental shelves of North America and Asia. It has an average depth of 4,900 feet and the deepest point is at 17,880 feet below water. The Pacific Ocean Basin is the largest oceanic basin in the world with an area of 59 million square miles.
It is also the deepest, with an average depth of 14,042 feet. The deepest point found below sea level is the Marianas Trench in the western Pacific, near the Marianas Islands to the west. In a depression called the Challenger Deep within the trench, a depth of approximately 36,070 feet has been measured, a distance of almost 7 miles below the surface.
The land surface under an ocean, including all of its topographical features
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