Atlantic Ocean

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The following article relates to the Atlantic Ocean as it relates to NationStates. For more general information, please see the Wikipedia article on the subject.

The Atlantic Ocean, normally perceived as Earth's second largest body of water, contains many thousands of nations, due largely to the effects of fractal reality. The ocean's name means "Sea of Atlas".

The exact boundaries of the Atlantic Ocean are almost impossible to pinpoint. However, in more conventional cartography, it is normally placed between the Americas, Europe, and Africa. On some maps, some or all of these continents are replaced by analogues. For example, Vasconia is often functions as an analogue of North America and Ambara as one of South America.

The average depth of the Atlantic, with its adjacent seas, is 3,332 metres (10,932 ft); without them it is 3,926 metres (12,881 ft). It is nearly impossible to definitively pinpoint the deepest or widest point of the Atlantic due to fractal reality.

The Atlantic Ocean has irregular coasts indented by numerous gulfs, bays, and seas, including Abt Bay. Islands in the Atlantic include Pele, Dana, Kagerlund, Zeng, Sanero, Saraben, Kar, Kadoki, Legon, Nerise, Pantocratoria, the Exarchate of New Jerusalem, Excalbia, Uinen, the Confederation of Sovereign States, Upper Virginia, and Midlonia.

Ocean bottom

The topography of the Atlantic Ocean bed is marked by a number of major ridges and trenches, as well as seamounts and guyots. Nonetheless, the bottom of the Atlantic is widely held to be fairly flat.

A few nations exist on the ocean floor itself, in underwater dome cities. The ocean bottom has also been affected by the artificial creation of some islands, such as Unity Island, where the Non-Democratic Alliance is headquartered.

Ocean sediments are composed of terrigenous, pelagic, and authigenic material. Terrigenous deposits consist of sand, mud, and rock particles formed by erosion, weathering, and volcanic activity on land and then washed to sea. These materials are largely found on the continental shelves and are thickest off the mouths of large rivers or off desert coasts. Pelagic deposits, which contain the remains of organisms that sink to the ocean floor, include red clays and Globigerina, pteropod, and siliceous oozes. Covering most of the ocean floor and ranging in thickness from 60 metres to 3,300 metres (200 ft to 11,000 ft), they are thickest in the convergence belts and in the zones of upwelling. Authigenic deposits consist of such materials as manganese nodules. They occur where sedimentation proceeds slowly or where currents sort the deposits.

Water characteristics

Large parts of this section are borrowed from Wikipedia.

The salinity of the surface waters in the open ocean ranges from 33 to 37 parts per thousand by mass and varies with latitude and season. Although the minimum salinity values are found just north of the equator, in general the lowest values are in the high latitudes and along coasts where large rivers flow into the ocean. Maximum salinity values occur at about 25° north latitude. Surface salinity values are influenced by evaporation, precipitation, river inflow, and melting of sea ice. Because of fractal reality, most nations in or near the Atlantic experience a salinity level appropriate to their climate or conditions.

Surface water temperatures, which vary with latitude, current systems, and season and reflect the latitudinal distribution of solar energy, range from less than −2 °C to 29 °C (28 °F to 84 °F). Maximum temperatures occur north of the equator, and minimum values are found in the polar regions. In the middle latitudes, the area of maximum temperature variations, values may vary by 7 °C to 8 °C (13 °F to 15 °F).

The Atlantic Ocean is generally held to consist of four major water masses. The North and South Atlantic central waters constitute the surface waters. The sub-Antarctic intermediate water extends to depths of 1,000 metres (3,300 ft). The North Atlantic deep water reaches depths of as much as 4,000 metres (13,200 ft). The Antarctic bottom water occupies ocean basins at depths greater than 4,000 metres (13,200 ft).

Due to the Coriolis effect, water in the North Atlantic circulates in a clockwise direction, whereas water circulation in the South Atlantic is counter clockwise. The South tides in the Atlantic Ocean are semi-diurnal; that is, two high tides occur during each 24 lunar hours. The tides are a general wave that moves from south to north. In latitudes above 40° north some east-west oscillation occurs.


The climate in and near the Atlantic Ocean is largely influenced by surface water temperatures as well as currents. Because of the ocean's enormous capacity for retaining heat, climates neat the Atlantic tend to be moderate and not subject to radical seasonal change.

Specific climates vary greatly based upon lattitude, with the coldest areas corresponding to the areas covered by sea ice. The Atlantic Ocean does manifest a wide range of climes from the warm equator to the frozen polar regions. Atlantic lands can be as warm as tropical Pele or as cold as Antartic southern Lavenrunz.

History and economy

Ever since the earliest settlements appeared along its shores, the Atlantic Ocean has been extensively explored. The Resurgent Dream and Excalbia were both founded by Atlantic expolorers. Pantocratoria, on the other hand, was founded by accidental explorers who were seeking Italy and instead discovered an island in the middle of the Atlantic in a spectacular feet of misnavigation.

The Atlantic has contributed greatly to the economies of the nations in and around it. Knootoss, in particular, has been seen as a major trading power in the Atlantic. The Atlantic also offers a great many direct resources, including petroleum deposits on the ocean floor, fish, and kelp. Among the sea creatures frequently harvested from the Atlantic are cod, haddock, hake, herring, mackerel, eel, and lobster. The Resurgent Dream is particularly known for heavily fishing these waters. Nations with Atlantic coastlines also benefit economically from tourists who flock to countless beaches every summer.


There is a clockwise warm-water gyre in the northern Atlantic and a counter-clockwise warm-water gyre in the southern Atlantic. These gyres (broad, circular systems of currents) help keep temperatures more moderate than they otherwise might be. The ocean floor is dominated by the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a rugged north-south centerline for the entire Atlantic, from which the great islands of Excalbia, Dana, and Pantocratoria rise.

Elevation extremes

  • lowest point: unknown, approximately -8,632 metres
  • highest point: sea level, 0 metres

Natural resources

Petroleum and gas fields, fish, marine mammals, sand and gravel aggregates, placer deposits, polymetallic nodules, precious stones, corral

Current environmental issues

The Atlantic is home to a number of endangered species, including the manatee, the seal, the sea lion, the turtle, and the whale. Because many industrial nations, some of which have notoriously lax environmental regulations, have Atlantic coastlines, pollution is becoming a problem. In the past, Akaton has been particularly infamous for polluting the Atlantic.

Notes on geography

Major chokepoints include the South Atlantic Passage. Strategic straits include the Straits of Mists, between the Resurgent Dream and Akaton. The equator divides the North Atlantic from the South Atlantic. This division has been relevent for international politics, with the South Atlantic Treaty Organization organizing itself south of the equator and with negotiation for a comprehensive North Atlantic treaty currently ongoing.

Ports and harbors