Atlantic Ocean, History

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Summary

The Atlantic Ocean is the world's second largest ocean, behind the Pacific Ocean. With a total area of about ,"The New Encyclopædia Britannica", Volume 2, Encyclopædia Britannica, 1974. p. 294 it covers approximately 20 percent of the Earth's surface and about 29 percent of its water surface area. The first part of its name refers to Atlas of Greek mythology, making the Atlantic the "Sea of Atlas".

Details

The Atlantic Ocean appears to be the second youngest of the five oceans. It did not exist prior to 130 million years ago, when the continents that formed from the breakup of the ancestral super continent Pangaea were drifting apart. The Atlantic has been extensively explored since the earliest settlements along its shores.

The Vikings, the Portuguese, and the Spaniards were the most famous among early explorers. After Columbus, European exploration rapidly accelerated, and many new trade routes were established.

As a result, the Atlantic became and remains the major artery between Europe and the Americas (known as transatlantic trade). Scientific explorations include the Challenger expedition, the German Meteor expedition, Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the United States Navy Hydrographic Office.

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External Links

  • Wikipediawww.cartage.org.lb"Map of Atlantic Coast of North America from the Chesapeake Bay to Florida"

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