List of seas

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Marginal seas as defined by the International Maritime Organization

This is a list of seas of the World Ocean, including marginal seas, areas of water, various gulfs, bights, bays, and straits.

Terminology[edit]

  • Ocean – the four to seven largest named bodies of water in the World Ocean, all of which have "Ocean" in the name. See Borders of the oceans for details.
  • Sea has several definitions:[a]
    • A marginal sea is a division of an ocean, partially enclosed by islands, archipelagos, or peninsulas, adjacent to or widely open to the open ocean at the surface, and/or bounded by submarine ridges on the sea floor.[4]
    • A division of an ocean, delineated by landforms,[5] currents (e.g. Sargasso Sea), or specific latitude or longitude boundaries. This includes but is not limited to marginal seas, and this is the definition used for inclusion in this list.
    • The World Ocean. For example, the Law of the Sea states that all of the World Ocean is "sea",[6][7][8][b] and this is also common usage for "the sea".
    • Any large body of water with "Sea" in the name, including lakes.
  • River – a narrow strip of water that flows over land from a higher elevation to a lower one
  • Tributary – a small river that flows into a larger one
  • Estuary – the piece of a river that flows into the sea or ocean
  • Strait – a narrow area of water connecting two wider areas of water, also sometimes known as a passage
  • Channel – usually wider than a strait
  • Passage – connects waters between islands, also sometimes known as a strait
  • Canal – a man-made channel
  • Fjard – a large open water between groups of islands

There are several terms used for bulges of ocean that result from indentations of land, which overlap in definition, and which are not consistently differentiated:[10]

  • Bay – generic term; though most features with "Bay" in the name are small, some are very large
  • Gulf – a very large bay, often a top-level division of an ocean or sea
  • Fjord – a long bay with steep sides, typically formed by a glacier
  • Bight – a bay that is typically shallower than a sound
  • Sound – a large, wide bay which is typically deeper than a bight, or a strait
  • Cove – a small, typically sheltered bay with a relatively narrow entrance
  • Inlet – a narrow and long bay similar to a land peninsula, but adjoining the sea
  • Polynya – least used of these terms, a patch of water surrounded by ice

Many features could be considered to be more than one of these, and all of these terms are used in place names inconsistently; especially bays, gulfs, and bights, which can be very large or very small. This list includes large areas of water no matter the term used in the name.

Biggest seas in the world[edit]

The largest terrestrial seas are:

  1. Australasian Mediterranean Sea – 9.080 million km2
  2. Philippine Sea – 5.695 million km2
  3. Coral Sea – 4.791 million km2
  4. American Mediterranean Sea – 4.200 million km2
  5. Arabian Sea – 3.862 million km2
  6. Sargasso Sea – 3.5 million km2
  7. South China Sea – 3.5 million km2
  8. Weddell Sea – 2.8 million km2
  9. Caribbean Sea – 2.754 million km2
  10. Mediterranean Sea – 2.510 million km2
  11. Gulf of Guinea – 2.35 million km2
  12. Tasman Sea – 2.3 million km2
  13. Bay of Bengal – 2.172 million km2
  14. Bering Sea – 2 million km2
  15. Sea of Okhotsk – 1.583 million km2
  16. Gulf of Mexico – 1.550 million km2
  17. Gulf of Alaska – 1.533 million km2
  18. Barents Sea – 1.4 million km2
  19. Norwegian Sea – 1.383 million km2
  20. East China Sea – 1.249 million km2
  21. Hudson Bay – 1.23 million km2
  22. Greenland Sea – 1.205 million km2
  23. Somov Sea – 1.15 million km2
  24. Mar de Grau – 1.14 million km2
  25. Riiser-Larsen Sea – 1.138 million km2
  26. Argentine Sea – 1 million km2
  27. East Siberian Sea – 987,000 km2
  28. Sea of Japan – 978,000 km2
  29. Lazarev Sea – 929,000 km2
  30. Kara Sea – 926,000 km2
  31. Scotia Sea – 900,000 km2
  32. Labrador Sea – 841,000 km2
  33. Andaman Sea – 797,700 km2
  34. Laccadive Sea – 786,000 km2
  35. Irminger Sea – 780,000 km2
  36. Solomon Sea – 720,000 km2
  37. Mozambique Channel – 700,000 km2
  38. Cosmonauts Sea – 699,000 km2
  39. Banda Sea – 695,000 km2
  40. Baffin Bay – 689,000 km2
  41. Laptev Sea – 662,000 km2
  42. Arafura Sea – 650,000 km2
  43. Ross Sea – 637,000 km2
  44. Chukchi Sea – 620,000 km2
  45. Timor Sea – 610,000 km2
  46. North Sea – 575,000 km2
  47. Bellingshausen Sea – 487,000 km2
  48. Beaufort Sea – 476,000 km2
  49. Red Sea – 438,000 km2
  50. Black Sea – 436,000 km2
  51. Gulf of Aden – 410,000 km2
  52. Yellow Sea – 380,000 km2
  53. Baltic Sea – 377,000 km2
  54. Caspian Sea – 371,000 km2
  55. Libyan Sea – 350,000 km2
  56. Mawson Sea – 333,000 km2
  57. Levantine Sea – 320,000 km2
  58. Java Sea – 320,000 km2
  59. Gulf of Thailand – 320,000 km2
  60. Celtic Sea – 300,000 km2
  61. Gulf of Carpentaria – 300,000 km2
  62. Celebes Sea – 280,000 km2
  63. Tyrrhenian Sea – 275,000 km2
  64. Sulu Sea – 260,000 km2
  65. Cooperation Sea – 258,000 km2
  66. Persian Gulf – 251,000 km2
  67. Flores Sea – 240,000 km2
  68. Gulf of Saint Lawrence – 226,000 km2
  69. Bay of Biscay – 223,000 km2
  70. Aegean Sea – 214,000 km2
  71. Gulf of Anadyr – 200,000 km2
  72. Molucca Sea – 200,000 km2
  73. Oman Sea – 181,000 km2
  74. Ionian Sea – 169,000 km2
  75. Gulf of California – 160,000 km2
  76. Balearic Sea – 150,000 km2
  77. Adriatic Sea – 138,000 km2

Marginal seas[edit]

Seas may be considered marginal between ocean and land, or between oceans in which case they may be treated as marginal parts of either. There is no single ultimate authority on the matter.[11]

Atlantic Ocean[edit]

In addition to the marginal seas listed in the three sub-sections below, the Arctic Ocean itself is sometimes also considered a marginal sea of the Atlantic.[12][13]

The Americas[edit]

(coast-wise north to south)

Africa and Eurasia[edit]

The Norwegian Sea
Aegean, Adriatic, Ionian, and Tyrrhenian seas

Northern islands[edit]

The Irish Sea

(east to west)

Arctic Ocean[edit]

(clockwise from 180°)

Southern Ocean[edit]

Indian Ocean[edit]

The Arabian Sea as a marginal sea of the Indian Ocean.

Pacific Ocean[edit]

Coral Sea

Americas[edit]

Asia and Oceania[edit]

Defined by currents[edit]

Proposed[edit]

Not included[edit]

Entities called "seas" which are not divisions of the World Ocean are not included in this list. Excluded are:

Other items not included:

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ There is no accepted technical definition of sea among oceanographers. A rather weak definition is that a sea is a subdivision of an ocean, which means that it must have oceanic basin crust on its floor. This definition, for example, accepts the Caspian Sea, which was once part of an ancient ocean, as a sea.[1] The Introduction to Marine Biology defines a sea as a "landlocked" body of water, adding that the term "sea" is only one of convenience, but the book is written by marine biologists, not oceanographers.[2] The Glossary of Mapping Sciences similarly states that the boundaries between seas and other bodies of water are arbitrary.[3]
  2. ^ According to this definition, the Caspian would be excluded as it is legally an "international lake".[9]
  3. ^ a b c d e f Proposed names to the IHO 2002 draft. This draft was never approved by the IHO (or any other organization), and the 1953 IHO document (which does not contain these names which mostly originated from 1962 onward) remains currently in force.[15] Leading geographic authorities and atlases do not use these names, including the 2014 10th edition World Atlas from the National Geographic Society and the 2014 12th edition of the Times Atlas of the World. But Soviet and Russian-issued state maps do include them.[16][17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Conforti, B; Bravo, Luigi Ferrari (2005). The Italian Yearbook of International Law 2004. ISBN 9789004150270.
  2. ^ Karleskint, George; Turner, Richard L; Small, James W (2009). Introduction to Marine Biology. ISBN 9780495561972.
  3. ^ The Glossary of the Mapping Sciences – Google Books. 1994. ISBN 9780784475706. Retrieved 2013-04-19.
  4. ^ American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (1994). Glossary of the mapping sciences. ASCE Publications. p. 469. ISBN 978-0-7844-0050-0. Retrieved 9 December 2010.
  5. ^ "What's the difference between an ocean and a sea?". Oceanservice.noaa.gov. 11 January 2013. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
  6. ^ Vukas, B (2004). The Law of the Sea: Selected Writings. ISBN 9789004138636.
  7. ^ Gupta, Manoj (2010). Indian Ocean Region: Maritime Regimes for Regional Cooperation. ISBN 9781441959898.
  8. ^ "Discover The Seven Seas of the Earth". Geography.about.com. Retrieved 2013-04-19.
  9. ^ Gokay, Bulent (2001). The Politics of Caspian Oil. ISBN 9780333739730.
  10. ^ "gulf – coastal feature".
  11. ^ Wang, James C. F. (1992). Handbook on Ocean Politics & Law. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-313-26434-4.
  12. ^ James C. F. Wang (1992). Handbook on ocean politics & law. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 14–. ISBN 9780313264344. Retrieved 9 December 2010.
  13. ^ Longhurt, Alan R. (2007). Ecological Geography of the Sea. Academic Press. p. 104. ISBN 978-0-12-455521-1.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i often treated as part of Mediterranean Sea
  15. ^ "Limits of Oceans and Seas, 3rd (currently in-force) edition" (PDF). International Hydrographic Organization. 1953. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 October 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  16. ^ Антарктида, rubricon.com/ (map)
  17. ^ "Антарктида". gturs.com. Archived from the original on 2015-09-10. Retrieved 2015-06-06. (map)

External links[edit]