An ocean is a body of water that composes much of a planet's hydrosphere.On Earth, an ocean is one of the major conventional divisions of the World Ocean. These are, in descending order by area, the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern (Antarctic), and Arctic Oceans. The phrases "the ocean" or "the sea" used without specification refer to the interconnected body of salt water covering the majority of the Earth's surface. As a general term, "the ocean" is mostly interchangeable with "the sea" in American English, but not in British English. Strictly speaking, a sea is a body of water (generally a division of the world ocean) partly or fully enclosed by land.
Saline seawater covers approximately 361,000,000 km2 (139,000,000 sq mi) and is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas, with the ocean covering approximately 71% of Earth's surface and 90% of the Earth's biosphere. The ocean contains 97% of Earth's water, and oceanographers have stated that less than 20% of the World Ocean has been mapped. The total volume is approximately 1.35 billion cubic kilometers (320 million cu mi) with an average depth of nearly 3,700 meters (12,100 ft).
As the world ocean is the principal component of Earth's hydrosphere, it is integral to life, forms part of the carbon cycle, and influences climate and weather patterns. The World Ocean is the habitat of 230,000 known species, but because much of it is unexplored, the number of species that exist in the ocean is much larger, possibly over two million.The origin of Earth's oceans is unknown; oceans are thought to have formed in the Hadean eon and may have been the cause for the emergence of life.
Extraterrestrial oceans may be composed of water or other elements and compounds. The only confirmed large stable bodies of extraterrestrial surface liquids are the lakes of Titan, although there is evidence for the existence of oceans elsewhere in the Solar System. Early in their geologic histories, Mars and Venus are theorized to have had large water oceans. The Mars ocean hypothesis suggests that nearly a third of the surface of Mars was once covered by water, and a runaway greenhouse effect may have boiled away the global ocean of Venus. Compounds such as salts and ammonia dissolved in water lower its freezing point so that water might exist in large quantities in extraterrestrial environments as brine or convecting ice. Unconfirmed oceans are speculated beneath the surface of many dwarf planets and natural satellites; notably, the ocean of the moon Europa is estimated to have over twice the water volume of Earth. The Solar System's giant planets are also thought to have liquid atmospheric layers of yet to be confirmed compositions. Oceans may also exist on exoplanets and exomoons, including surface oceans of liquid water within a circumstellar habitable zone. Ocean planets are a hypothetical type of planet with a surface completely covered with liquid.
The word ocean comes from the figure in classical antiquity, Oceanus ( // ; Greek : Ὠκεανός Ōkeanós, pronounced [ɔːkeanós] ), the elder of the Titans in classical Greek mythology, believed by the ancient Greeks and Romans to be the divine personification of the sea, an enormous river encircling the world.
The concept of Ōkeanós has an Indo-European connection. Greek Ōkeanós has been compared to the Vedic epithet ā-śáyāna-, predicated of the dragon Vṛtra-, who captured the cows/rivers. Related to this notion, the Okeanos is represented with a dragon-tail on some early Greek vases.
Though generally described as several separate oceans, the global, interconnected body of salt water is sometimes referred to as the World Ocean or global ocean.The concept of a continuous body of water with relatively free interchange among its parts is of fundamental importance to oceanography.
The major oceanic divisions – listed below in descending order of area and volume – are defined in part by the continents, various archipelagos, and other criteria.
|1||Pacific Ocean||Separates Asia and Australasia from the Americas [NB]||168,723,000|
|2||Atlantic Ocean||Separates the Americas from Europe and Africa||85,133,000|
|3||Indian Ocean||Borders southern Asia and separates Africa and Australia||70,560,000|
|4||Southern Ocean||Encircles Antarctica. Sometimes considered an extension of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans,||21,960,000|
|5||Arctic Ocean||Borders northern North America and Eurasia and covers much of the Arctic. Sometimes considered a sea or estuary of the Atlantic.||15,558,000|
|Total – World Ocean||361,900,000|
|Arabian Sea||Between the Arabian peninsula and the Indian subcontinent||3,862,000||1|
|Bay of Bengal||Between the Indian subcontinent and the Malay Peninsula||2,173,000||2|
Oceans are fringed by smaller, adjoining bodies of water such as seas, gulfs, bays, bights, and straits.
The mid-ocean ridges of the world are connected and form a single global mid-oceanic ridge system that is part of every ocean and the longest mountain range in the world. The continuous mountain range is 65,000 km (40,000 mi) long (several times longer than the Andes, the longest continental mountain range).
The total mass of the hydrosphere is about 1.4 quintillion tonnes (1.4×1018 long tons or 1.5×1018 short tons), which is about 0.023% of Earth's total mass. Less than 3% is freshwater; the rest is saltwater, almost all of which is in the ocean. The area of the World Ocean is about 361.9 million square kilometers (139.7 million square miles), which covers about 70.9% of Earth's surface, and its volume is approximately 1.335 billion cubic kilometers (320.3 million cubic miles). This can be thought of as a cube of water with an edge length of 1,101 kilometers (684 mi). Its average depth is about 3,688 meters (12,100 ft), and its maximum depth is 10,994 meters (6.831 mi) at the Mariana Trench. Nearly half of the world's marine waters are over 3,000 meters (9,800 ft) deep. The vast expanses of deep ocean (anything below 200 meters or 660 feet) cover about 66% of Earth's surface. This does not include seas not connected to the World Ocean, such as the Caspian Sea.
The bluish ocean color is a composite of several contributing agents. Prominent contributors include dissolved organic matter and chlorophyll.Mariners and other seafarers have reported that the ocean often emits a visible glow which extends for miles at night. In 2005, scientists announced that for the first time, they had obtained photographic evidence of this glow. It is most likely caused by bioluminescence.
Oceanographers divide the ocean into different vertical zones defined by physical and biological conditions. The pelagic zone includes all open ocean regions, and can be divided into further regions categorized by depth and light abundance. The photic zone includes the oceans from the surface to a depth of 200 m; it is the region where photosynthesis can occur and is, therefore, the most biodiverse. Because plants require photosynthesis, life found deeper than the photic zone must either rely on material sinking from above (see marine snow) or find another energy source. Hydrothermal vents are the primary source of energy in what is known as the aphotic zone (depths exceeding 200 m). The pelagic part of the photic zone is known as the epipelagic.
The pelagic part of the aphotic zone can be further divided into vertical regions according to temperature. The mesopelagic is the uppermost region. Its lowermost boundary is at a thermocline of 12 °C (54 °F), which, in the tropics generally lies at 700–1,000 meters (2,300–3,300 ft). Next is the bathypelagic lying between 10 and 4 °C (50 and 39 °F), typically between 700–1,000 meters (2,300–3,300 ft) and 2,000–4,000 meters (6,600–13,100 ft), lying along the top of the abyssal plain is the abyssopelagic, whose lower boundary lies at about 6,000 meters (20,000 ft). The last zone includes the deep oceanic trench, and is known as the hadalpelagic. This lies between 6,000–11,000 meters (20,000–36,000 ft) and is the deepest oceanic zone.
The benthic zones are aphotic and correspond to the three deepest zones of the deep-sea. The bathyal zone covers the continental slope down to about 4,000 meters (13,000 ft). The abyssal zone covers the abyssal plains between 4,000 and 6,000 m. Lastly, the hadal zone corresponds to the hadalpelagic zone, which is found in oceanic trenches.
The pelagic zone can be further subdivided into two subregions: the neritic zone and the oceanic zone. The neritic zone encompasses the water mass directly above the continental shelves whereas the oceanic zone includes all the completely open water.
In contrast, the littoral zone covers the region between low and high tide and represents the transitional area between marine and terrestrial conditions. It is also known as the intertidal zone because it is the area where tide level affects the conditions of the region.
If a zone undergoes dramatic changes in temperature with depth, it contains a thermocline. The tropical thermocline is typically deeper than the thermocline at higher latitudes. Polar waters, which receive relatively little solar energy, are not stratified by temperature and generally lack a thermocline because surface water at polar latitudes are nearly as cold as water at greater depths. Below the thermocline, water is very cold, ranging from −1 °C to 3 °C. Because this deep and cold layer contains the bulk of ocean water, the average temperature of the world ocean is 3.9 °C. [ citation needed ] If a zone undergoes dramatic changes in salinity with depth, it contains a halocline. If a zone undergoes a strong, vertical chemistry gradient with depth, it contains a chemocline.
The halocline often coincides with the thermocline, and the combination produces a pronounced pycnocline.
The deepest point in the ocean is the Mariana Trench, located in the Pacific Ocean near the Northern Mariana Islands. Its maximum depth has been estimated to be 10,971 meters (35,994 ft) (plus or minus 11 meters; see the Mariana Trench article for discussion of the various estimates of the maximum depth.) The British naval vessel Challenger II surveyed the trench in 1951 and named the deepest part of the trench the "Challenger Deep". In 1960, the Trieste successfully reached the bottom of the trench, manned by a crew of two men.
Oceanic maritime currents have different origins. Tidal currents are in phase with the tide, hence are quasiperiodic; they may form various knots in certain places,[ clarification needed ] most notably around headlands. Non-periodic currents have for origin the waves, wind and different densities.
The wind and waves create surface currents (designated as “drift currents”). These currents can decompose in one quasi-permanent current (which varies within the hourly scale) and one movement of Stokes drift under the effect of rapid waves movement (at the echelon of a couple of seconds).).The quasi-permanent current is accelerated by the breaking of waves, and in a lesser governing effect, by the friction of the wind on the surface.
This acceleration of the current takes place in the direction of waves and dominant wind. Accordingly, when the sea depth increases, the rotation of the earth changes the direction of currents in proportion with the increase of depth, while friction lowers their speed. At a certain sea depth, the current changes direction and is seen inverted in the opposite direction with current speed becoming null: known as the Ekman spiral. The influence of these currents is mainly experienced at the mixed layer of the ocean surface, often from 400 to 800 meters of maximum depth. These currents can considerably alter, change and are dependent on the various yearly seasons. If the mixed layer is less thick (10 to 20 meters), the quasi-permanent current at the surface adopts an extreme oblique direction in relation to the direction of the wind, becoming virtually homogeneous, until the Thermocline.
In the deep however, maritime currents are caused by the temperature gradients and the salinity between water density masses.
In littoral zones, breaking waves are so intense and the depth measurement so low, that maritime currents reach often 1 to 2 knots.
Ocean currents greatly affect Earth's climate by transferring heat from the tropics to the polar regions. Transferring warm or cold air and precipitation to coastal regions, winds may carry them inland. Surface heat and freshwater fluxes create global density gradients that drive the thermohaline circulation part of large-scale ocean circulation. It plays an important role in supplying heat to the polar regions, and thus in sea ice regulation. Changes in the thermohaline circulation are thought to have significant impacts on Earth's energy budget. In so far as the thermohaline circulation governs the rate at which deep waters reach the surface, it may also significantly influence atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.
For a discussion of the possibilities of changes to the thermohaline circulation under global warming, see shutdown of thermohaline circulation.
The Antarctic Circumpolar Current encircles that continent, influencing the area's climate and connecting currents in several oceans.
One of the most dramatic forms of weather occurs over the oceans: tropical cyclones (also called "typhoons" and "hurricanes" depending upon where the system forms).
The ocean has a significant effect on the biosphere. Oceanic evaporation, as a phase of the water cycle, is the source of most rainfall, and ocean temperatures determine climate and wind patterns that affect life on land. Life within the ocean evolved 3 billion years prior to life on land. Both the depth and the distance from shore strongly influence the biodiversity of the plants and animals present in each region.
As it is thought that life evolved in the ocean, the diversity of life is immense, including:
In addition, many land animals have adapted to living a major part of their life on the oceans. For instance, seabirds are a diverse group of birds that have adapted to a life mainly on the oceans. They feed on marine animals and spend most of their lifetime on water, many only going on land for breeding. Other birds that have adapted to oceans as their living space are penguins, seagulls and pelicans. Seven species of turtles, the sea turtles, also spend most of their time in the oceans.
|Gas||Concentration of seawater, by mass (in parts per million), for the whole ocean||% Dissolved gas, by volume, in seawater at the ocean surface|
|Carbon dioxide (CO2)||64 to 107||15%|
|Nitrogen (N2)||10 to 18||48%|
|Oxygen (O2)||0 to 13||36%|
|Characteristic||Oceanic waters in polar regions||Oceanic waters in temperate regions||Oceanic waters in tropical regions|
|Precipitation vs. evaporation||P > E||P > E||E > P|
|Sea surface temperature in winter||−2 °C||5 to 20 °C||20 to 25 °C|
|Average salinity||28‰ to 32‰||35‰||35‰ to 37‰|
|Annual variation of air temperature||≤ 40ªC||10 °C||< 5 °C|
|Annual variation of water temperature||< 5ªC||10 °C||< 5 °C|
|Constituent||Residence time (in years)|
A zone of rapid salinity increase with depth is called a halocline. The temperature of maximum density of seawater decreases as its salt content increases. Freezing temperature of water decreases with salinity, and boiling temperature of water increases with salinity. Typical seawater freezes at around −2 °C at atmospheric pressure. If precipitation exceeds evaporation, as is the case in polar and temperate regions, salinity will be lower. If evaporation exceeds precipitation, as is the case in tropical regions, salinity will be higher. Thus, oceanic waters in polar regions have lower salinity content than oceanic waters in temperate and tropical regions.
Salinity can be calculated using the chlorinity, which is a measure of the total mass of halogen ions (includes fluorine, chlorine, bromine, and iodine) in seawater. By international agreement, the following formula is used to determine salinity:
The average chlorinity is about 19.2‰, and, thus, the average salinity is around 34.7‰
|Color: Wavelength (nm)||Depth at which 99 percent of the wavelength is absorbed (in meters)||Percent absorbed in 1 meter of water|
|Ultraviolet (UV): 310||31||14.0|
|Violet (V): 400||107||4.2|
|Blue (B): 475||254||1.8|
|Green (G): 525||113||4.0|
|Yellow (Y): 575||51||8.7|
|Orange (O): 600||25||16.7|
|Red (R): 725||4||71.0|
|Infrared (IR): 800||3||82.0|
Many of the world's goods are moved by ship between the world's seaports.Oceans are also the major supply source for the fishing industry. Some of the major harvests are shrimp, fish, crabs, and lobster.
The motions of the ocean surface, known as undulations or waves , are the partial and alternate rising and falling of the ocean surface. The series of mechanical waves that propagate along the interface between water and air is called swell. [ citation needed ]
Although Earth is the only known planet with large stable bodies of liquid water on its surface and the only one in the Solar System, other celestial bodies are thought to have large oceans.In June 2020, NASA scientists reported that it's likely that exoplanets with oceans may be common in the Milky Way galaxy, based on mathematical modeling studies.
The gas giants, Jupiter and Saturn, are thought to lack surfaces and instead have a stratum of liquid hydrogen; however their planetary geology is not well understood. The possibility of the ice giants Uranus and Neptune having hot, highly compressed, supercritical water under their thick atmospheres has been hypothesised. Although their composition is still not fully understood, a 2006 study by Wiktorowicz and Ingersall ruled out the possibility of such a water "ocean" existing on Neptune,though some studies have suggested that exotic oceans of liquid diamond are possible.
The Mars ocean hypothesis suggests that nearly a third of the surface of Mars was once covered by water, though the water on Mars is no longer oceanic (much of it residing in the ice caps). The possibility continues to be studied along with reasons for their apparent disappearance. Astronomers now think that Venus may have had liquid water and perhaps oceans for over 2 billion years.
A global layer of liquid water thick enough to decouple the crust from the mantle is thought to be present on the natural satellites Titan, Europa, Enceladus and, with less certainty, Callisto, Ganymede 10 kilometers (6.2 mi) beneath the surface ice shell. Other icy moons may also have internal oceans, or may once have had internal oceans that have now frozen.and Triton. A magma ocean is thought to be present on Io. Geysers have been found on Saturn's moon Enceladus, possibly originating from an ocean about
Large bodies of liquid hydrocarbons are thought to be present on the surface of Titan, although they are not large enough to be considered oceans and are sometimes referred to as lakes or seas. The Cassini–Huygens space mission initially discovered only what appeared to be dry lakebeds and empty river channels, suggesting that Titan had lost what surface liquids it might have had. Later flybys of Titan provided radar and infrared images that showed a series of hydrocarbon lakes in the colder polar regions. Titan is thought to have a subsurface liquid-water ocean under the ice in addition to the hydrocarbon mix that forms atop its outer crust.
Ceres appears to be differentiated into a rocky core and icy mantle and may harbour a liquid-water ocean under its surface.
Not enough is known of the larger trans-Neptunian objects to determine whether they are differentiated bodies capable of supporting oceans, although models of radioactive decay suggest that Pluto, 100 to 180 km thick. In June 2020, astronomers reported evidence that the dwarf planet Pluto may have had a subsurface ocean, and consequently may have been habitable, when it was first formed.Eris, Sedna, and Orcus have oceans beneath solid icy crusts approximately
Some planets and natural satellites outside the Solar System are likely to have oceans, including possible water ocean planets similar to Earth in the habitable zone or "liquid-water belt". The detection of oceans, even through the spectroscopy method, however is likely extremely difficult and inconclusive.
Theoretical models have been used to predict with high probability that GJ 1214 b, detected by transit, is composed of exotic form of ice VII, making up 75% of its mass,making it an ocean planet.
Other possible candidates are merely speculated based on their mass and position in the habitable zone include planet though little is actually known of their composition. Some scientists speculate Kepler-22b may be an "ocean-like" planet.Models have been proposed for Gliese 581 d that could include surface oceans. Gliese 436 b is speculated to have an ocean of "hot ice". Exomoons orbiting planets, particularly gas giants within their parent star's habitable zone may theoretically have surface oceans.
Terrestrial planets will acquire water during their accretion, some of which will be buried in the magma ocean but most of it will go into a steam atmosphere, and when the atmosphere cools it will collapse on to the surface forming an ocean. There will also be outgassing of water from the mantle as the magma solidifies—this will happen even for planets with a low percentage of their mass composed of water, so "super-Earth exoplanets may be expected to commonly produce water oceans within tens to hundreds of millions of years of their last major accretionary impact."
Oceans, seas, lakes and other bodies of liquids can be composed of liquids other than water, for example the hydrocarbon lakes on Titan. The possibility of seas of nitrogen on Triton was also considered but ruled out.There is evidence that the icy surfaces of the moons Ganymede, Callisto, Europa, Titan and Enceladus are shells floating on oceans of very dense liquid water or water–ammonia. Earth is often called the ocean planet because it is 70% covered in water. Extrasolar terrestrial planets that are extremely close to their parent star will be tidally locked and so one half of the planet will be a magma ocean. It is also possible that terrestrial planets had magma oceans at some point during their formation as a result of giant impacts. Hot Neptunes close to their star could lose their atmospheres via hydrodynamic escape, leaving behind their cores with various liquids on the surface. Where there are suitable temperatures and pressures, volatile chemicals that might exist as liquids in abundant quantities on planets include ammonia, argon, carbon disulfide, ethane, hydrazine, hydrogen, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen sulfide, methane, neon, nitrogen, nitric oxide, phosphine, silane, sulfuric acid, and water.
Supercritical fluids, although not liquids, do share various properties with liquids. Underneath the thick atmospheres of the planets Uranus and Neptune, it is expected that these planets are composed of oceans of hot high-density fluid mixtures of water, ammonia and other volatiles.The gaseous outer layers of Jupiter and Saturn transition smoothly into oceans of supercritical hydrogen. The atmosphere of Venus is 96.5% carbon dioxide, which is a supercritical fluid at its surface.
On other bodies:
Titan is the largest moon of Saturn and the second-largest natural satellite in the Solar System. It is the only moon known to have a dense atmosphere, and the only known body in space, other than Earth, where clear evidence of stable bodies of surface liquid has been found.
The underwater environment refers to the region below the surface of, and immersed in, liquid water in a natural or artificial feature, such as an ocean, sea, lake, pond, reservoir, river, canal, or aquifer. Some characteristics of the underwater environment are universal, but many depend on the local situation.
Thermohaline circulation (THC) is a part of the large-scale ocean circulation that is driven by global density gradients created by surface heat and freshwater fluxes. The adjective thermohaline derives from thermo- referring to temperature and -haline referring to salt content, factors which together determine the density of sea water. Wind-driven surface currents travel polewards from the equatorial Atlantic Ocean, cooling en route, and eventually sinking at high latitudes. This dense water then flows into the ocean basins. While the bulk of it upwells in the Southern Ocean, the oldest waters upwell in the North Pacific. Extensive mixing therefore takes place between the ocean basins, reducing differences between them and making the Earth's oceans a global system. The water in these circuits transport both energy and mass around the globe. As such, the state of the circulation has a large impact on the climate of the Earth.
Tholins are a wide variety of organic compounds formed by solar ultraviolet or cosmic rays irradiation of simple carbon-containing compounds such as carbon dioxide, methane or ethane, often in combination with nitrogen or water. Tholins are disordered polymer-like materials made of repeating chains of linked subunits and complex combinations of functional groups. Tholins do not form naturally on modern-day Earth, but they are found in great abundance on the surfaces of icy bodies in the outer Solar System, and as reddish aerosols in the atmosphere of outer Solar System planets and moons.
A thermocline is a thin but distinct layer in a large body of fluid in which temperature changes more rapidly with depth than it does in the layers above or below. In the ocean, the thermocline divides the upper mixed layer from the calm deep water below.
Many parts of the outer Solar System have been considered for possible future colonization. Most of the larger moons of the outer planets contain water ice, liquid water, and organic compounds that might be useful for sustaining human life.
The deep sea or deep layer is the lowest layer in the ocean, existing below the thermocline and above the seabed, at a depth of 1000 fathoms or more. Little or no light penetrates this part of the ocean, and most of the organisms that live there rely for subsistence on falling organic matter produced in the photic zone. For this reason, scientists once assumed that life would be sparse in the deep ocean, but virtually every probe has revealed that, on the contrary, life is abundant in the deep ocean.
From the time of Pliny until the late nineteenth century...humans believed there was no life in the deep. It took a historic expedition in the ship Challenger between 1872 and 1876 to prove Pliny wrong; its deep-sea dredges and trawls brought up living things from all depths that could be reached. Yet even in the twentieth century scientists continued to imagine that life at great depth was insubstantial, or somehow inconsequential. The eternal dark, the almost inconceivable pressure, and the extreme cold that exist below one thousand meters were, they thought, so forbidding as to have all but extinguished life. The reverse is in fact true....(Below 200 meters) lies the largest habitat on earth.
The oceanic or limnological mixed layer is a layer in which active turbulence has homogenized some range of depths. The surface mixed layer is a layer where this turbulence is generated by winds, surface heat fluxes, or processes such as evaporation or sea ice formation which result in an increase in salinity. The atmospheric mixed layer is a zone having nearly constant potential temperature and specific humidity with height. The depth of the atmospheric mixed layer is known as the mixing height. Turbulence typically plays a role in the formation of fluid mixed layers.
An ocean world, ocean planet, water world, aquaplanet or panthalassic planet is a type of terrestrial planet that contains a substantial amount of water either at its surface or within a subsurface ocean. The term ocean world is also used sometimes for astronomical bodies with an ocean composed of a different fluid, such as lava, ammonia or hydrocarbons like on Titan's surface.
The climate of Mars has been a topic of scientific curiosity for centuries, in part because it is the only terrestrial planet whose surface can be directly observed in detail from the Earth with help from a telescope.
Extraterrestrial liquid water is water in its liquid state that naturally occurs outside Earth. It is a subject of wide interest because it is recognized as one of the key prerequisites for life as we know it and thus surmised as essential for extraterrestrial life.
Whether there is life on Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, is at present an open question and a topic of scientific assessment and research. Titan is far colder than Earth, but of all the places in the solar system, Titan is the only place besides Earth known to have liquids in the form of rivers, lakes and seas on its surface. On the other hand, its thick atmosphere is chemically active and rich in carbon compounds. On the surface there are bodies of liquid methane and ethane, and it is likely that there is a layer of liquid water under its ice shell; some scientists speculate that these liquid mixes may provide pre-biotic chemistry for living cells different from those on Earth.
The habitability of natural satellites is a measure of the potential of natural satellites to have environments hospitable to life. Habitable environments do not necessarily harbor life. Planetary habitability is an emerging study which is considered important to astrobiology for several reasons, foremost being that natural satellites are predicted to greatly outnumber planets and that it is hypothesized that habitability factors are likely to be similar to those of planets. There are, however, key environmental differences which have a bearing on moons as potential sites for extraterrestrial life.
The lakes of Titan, Saturn's largest moon, are bodies of liquid ethane and methane that have been detected by the Cassini–Huygens space probe, and had been suspected long before. The large ones are known as maria (seas) and the small ones as lacūs (lakes).
A deep sea community is any community of organisms associated by a shared habitat in the deep sea. Deep sea communities remain largely unexplored, due to the technological and logistical challenges and expense involved in visiting this remote biome. Because of the unique challenges, it was long believed that little life existed in this hostile environment. Since the 19th century however, research has demonstrated that significant biodiversity exists in the deep sea.
Almost all water on Mars today exists as ice, though it also exists in small quantities as vapor in the atmosphere. What was thought to be low-volume liquid brines in shallow Martian soil, also called recurrent slope lineae, may be grains of flowing sand and dust slipping downhill to make dark streaks. The only place where water ice is visible at the surface is at the north polar ice cap. Abundant water ice is also present beneath the permanent carbon dioxide ice cap at the Martian south pole and in the shallow subsurface at more temperate conditions. More than 21 million km3 of ice have been detected at or near the surface of Mars, enough to cover the whole planet to a depth of 35 meters (115 ft). Even more ice is likely to be locked away in the deep subsurface.
Titan Mare Explorer (TiME) is a proposed design for a lander for Saturn's moon Titan. TiME is a relatively low-cost, outer-planet mission designed to measure the organic constituents on Titan and would have performed the first nautical exploration of an extraterrestrial sea, analyze its nature and, possibly, observe its shoreline. As a Discovery-class mission it was designed to be cost-capped at US$425 million, not counting launch vehicle funding. It was proposed to NASA in 2009 by Proxemy Research as a scout-like pioneering mission, originally as part of NASA's Discovery Program. The TiME mission design reached the finalist stage during that Discovery mission selection, but was not selected, and despite attempts in the U.S. Senate failed to get earmark funding in 2013.
Before the scientific search for and study of extrasolar planets, the possibility was argued through philosophy and science fiction. The mediocrity principle suggests that planets like Earth should be common in the Universe, while the Rare Earth hypothesis suggests that they are extremely rare. The thousands of exoplanetary star systems discovered so far are profoundly different from our solar system, supporting the Rare Earth hypothesis.
In summer 1965, the first close-up images from Mars showed a cratered desert with no signs of water. However, over the decades, as more parts of the planet were imaged with better cameras on more sophisticated satellites, Mars showed evidence of past river valleys, lakes and present ice in glaciers and in the ground. It was discovered that the climate of Mars displays huge changes over geologic time because its axis is not stabilized by a large moon, as Earth's is. Also, some researchers maintain that surface liquid water could have existed for periods of time due to geothermal effects, chemical composition or asteroid impacts. This article describes some of the places that could have held large lakes.
As an approximation, the Arctic Ocean may be regarded as an estuary of the Atlantic Ocean.
The oceans occupy about 3.35×108 km2 of area. There are 377412 km of oceanic coastlines in the world.
the Titan system, rich in organics, containing a vast subsurface ocean of liquid water
observations can be explained if Titan has a floating, isostatically-compensated ice shell
A number of synchronous moons are thought to harbor water oceans beneath their outer ice shells. A subsurface ocean frictionally decouples the shell from the interior