The Physics Factbook™
Edited by Glenn Elert -- Written by his students
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|Garrison, Tom S. Oceanography: An Invitation to Marine Science. Thompson Brooks/Cole, 2005: 4.||"The average depth of the ocean is about 3,796 meters (12,451 feet), the volume of seawater 1.37 billion cubic kilometers"||1.37
|"The World Ocean." The Columbia Encyclopedia. CD-ROM. 2007, 6th Ed. New York: Columbia University Press.||"The World ocean has an area of about 361 million sq km (139,400,000 sq mi), an average depth of about 3,730 m (12,230) ft, and a total volume of about 1,347,000,000 cu km (322,280,000 cu mi)."||1.347
|Viau, Elizabeth Anne. World Builders: Water on Earth. California State University Los Angeles. 2003.||[see table 1]||1.310302
|Gleick, P.H. Earth's water distribution. Water Science for Schools. U.S. Geological Survey. 28 August 2006.||[see table 2]||1.338
|"Ocean Volume and Depth." Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia 10th ed. 2008.||"The volume of the oceans and their seas is nearly 1.5 × 109 [sic] cubic kilometers"||1.5
You've heard it all before: 70 percent of the earth is covered in water! But what does that really mean? These waters that are spoken of have a breakdown into five different categories: Oceans, rivers, lakes, groundwater, and ice. As an essential part of our daily diet, water is vital for the survival of our ecosystem. The world's oceans comprise 97.3% of the total water on earth and consists of 5 oceans: Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Southern. The current range for the volume of the world's ocean is from 1.3 to 1.5 billion cubic kilometers and it will still get larger and larger as time passes.
There are two origins of water: comets (extraterrestrial bombardment) and out gassing (condensation of steam from early volcanism). These processes are continuing today. It is estimated that the volume of the earth's ocean increases by 1 cubic meter every year.
|Volume in Thousands
of Cubic Kilometers
Total Water on Earth
|Oceans||1,310,302||97.3||This is salty sea water.|
|Ice||29,492||2.2||Much of this ice is in the Antarctic|
|Groundwater||6,733||0.5||Underground aquifers, deep wells|
|Lakes||242||0.02||Provide drinking water, irrigation water, fish and recreation|
|Soil Moisture||74||0.005||This is being used by our crops, trees, and surface vegetation|
|Water Vapor in the Atmosphere||14||0.001||Clouds, fog, and dew|
|Rivers||1.3||0.0001||Provide water for drinking, irrigation, and recreation|
|Adapted from: Environment Canada|
|Water source||Water volume,
in cubic miles
in cubic kilometers
|Oceans, Seas, & Bays||321,000,000||1,338,000,000||--||96.5|
|Ice caps, Glaciers, & Permanent Snow||5,773,000||24,064,000||68.7||1.74|
|Ground Ice & Permafrost||71,970||300,000||0.86||0.022|
|Source: Gleick, P. H., 1996: Water resources. In Encyclopedia of Climate and Weather, ed. by S. H. Schneider, Oxford University Press, New York, vol. 2, pp. 817-823.|
Ketsia Erra -- 2008
|Bibliographic Entry||Result |
|Duxbury, Alyn. An Introduction to the World's Oceans - Sixth Edition. McGraw-Hill, 2000: 39.||"The volume of water in the oceans is enormous: 1.37 billion cubic kilometers (1.37 × 109 km3, or 0.328 × 109 mi.3)"||1.37 × 109 km3|
|Ocean and Oceanography. Microsoft Encarta.||"The world ocean covers 71 percent of the earth's surface, or about 361 million sq km (140 million sq mi). Its average depth is 5,000 m (16,000 ft), and its total volume is about 1,347,000,000 cu km (322,300,000 cu mi)."||1.347 × 109 km3|
|Kennish, Michael J. Practical Handbook of Marine Science - Second Edition. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 1994: 181.||"Volume of Oceans without adjacent seas (106 km3) is 1,303.51 and Arctic Ocean is 13.70."||1.32 × 109 km3|
|Oceans and Seas. Infoplease.|| |
|1.268 × 109 km3|
We as humans don't realize the significance of water on earth. Its not justcoincidence that nearly three-fourths of the Earth is covered with water. Thisamount is necessary for earth's natural processes to occur and therefore sustainlife on Earth, not only for humans but also animals, plants and other organisms.If this isn't interesting enough then this might raise a few brows. If mined,all the gold suspended in the world's oceans and seas would give each person onearth 9 pounds.
The volume of the Earth's oceans is approximately 1.3 × 109 km3.The largest of the oceans is the Pacific Ocean followed by Atlantic, Indian andArctic Ocean. Given their sheer volume, 99 percent of the living space on theplanet is found in the oceans. If species are removed from the ecosystem, theweb of relationships is disrupted. Whether most people realize it or not, humansare part of the world's ecosystems for our most basic needs, including food, medicines,pure water, and the even the air we breathe.
The average depth of the oceans is 2.5 miles (4 km). The deepestpoint lies in the Mariana Trench, 6.8 miles (10.9 km) down. By the wayin comparison, Mount Everest is only 5.5 miles (8.8 km) high. Climbingup to Mt. Everest provides an extremely dangerous challenge, but try reachingthe depths of the Mariana Trench where the pressure is extremely high and temperaturevery low. At the deepest point in the ocean the pressure is more than 8 tons persquare inch, or the equivalent of one person trying to support 50 jumbo jets.At 4 °C (39 °F), the temperature of almost all of the deep oceanis only a few degrees above freezing.
The Earth is rather unique than all the other planets in our solar system.No other planet has liquid water and thus is one of the problems of not beingable to live on Mars.
Syed S. Qadri -- 2001
|Bibliographic Entry||Result |
|Debenedetti, Pablo G. & H. Eugene Stanley. "Supercooled and Glassy Water."Physics Today. Vol. 56, No. 6 (June 2003): 40.||"Water is not only fascinating, but it is also one of the most important and ubiquitous substances on Earth. There are 1.3 × 109 km3 of water in the oceans, 3.3 × 107 km3 in the polar ice caps, 2 × 105 km3 in glaciers, 105 km3 in lakes, and 1.2 × 103 km3 in rivers. In addition, 2.2 × 105 km3 of water fall annually as precipitation."||1.3 × 109 km3|
Editor's Supplement -- 2003
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