The Physics
Factbook
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Volume of Earth's Oceans

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Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Standardized
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.
NameAreaAverage
Depth
sq. mi.sq. kmft.m
Pacific Ocean64,000,000165,760,00013,2154,028
Atlantic Ocean31,815,00082,400,00012,8803,926
Indian Ocean25,300,00065,526,70013,0023,963
Arctic Ocean5,440,20014,090,0003,9531,205
1.268 × 109 km3

We as humans don't realize the significance of water on earth. Its not just coincidence that nearly three-fourths of the Earth is covered with water. This amount is necessary for earth's natural processes to occur and therefore sustain life 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 on earth 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 and Arctic Ocean. Given their sheer volume, 99 percent of the living space on the planet is found in the oceans. If species are removed from the ecosystem, the web of relationships is disrupted. Whether most people realize it or not, humans are 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 deepest point lies in the Mariana Trench, 6.8 miles (10.9 km) down. By the way in comparison, Mount Everest is only 5.5 miles (8.8 km) high. Climbing up to Mt. Everest provides an extremely dangerous challenge, but try reaching the depths of the Mariana Trench where the pressure is extremely high and temperature very low. At the deepest point in the ocean the pressure is more than 8 tons per square 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 ocean is 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 being able to live on Mars.

Syed S. Qadri -- 2001

Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Standardized
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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