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What is the continental shelf?

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What is the continental shelf? The shallow underwater plateaus of land surrounding the continents form the continental shelf. They slope gently down to a depth of about 180 m, after which they slope more sharply towards the deep ocean.

The continental shelf can extend out from the coast for long distances, or it may be narrow, for example off the coast of Chile where the Andes Mountains plunge down into the Pacific with hardly any shelf. Usually the shelves are wider off low-lying regions. The continental shelf is a valuable resource, as most fish are found here.

Also, there are plans to mine some of the minerals on the sea-bed in these shallow waters.

Tags: underwater, ocean

Category: Astrology  - ( Astrology Archive)

Date Added: 09 December '11

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