Antarctic continental shelf

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The Antarctic continental shelf is a geological feature that underlies the Southern Ocean, surrounding the continent of Antarctica. The shelf is generally narrow and unusually deep, its edge lying at depths averaging 500 meters (the global mean is around 100 meters), with troughs extending as far as 2000 meters deep.[1] It is home to a thriving ecosystem of penguins and cold-water fish and crustaceans.

Several countries have issued proclamations claiming ownership over parts of the shelf, including Chile (since 1947), Australia (since 1953), France, and Argentina.[2]


  1. ^ Beau Riffenburgh, Encyclopedia of the Antarctic (2007), Vol. 1, p. 288.
  2. ^ Christopher Clayton Joyner, Sudhir K. Chopra, The Antarctic Legal Regime (1988), p. 113.

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