00:27. The Caribbean Sea is one of the largest seas and has an area of about 2,754,000 square kilometers (1,063,000 square miles). Of the water passing through the Yucatn Channel each second, only about one-fourth represents the deeper Subantarctic intermediate water. This arc was formed by the collision of the South American Plate with the Caribbean Plate and includes active and extinct volcanoes such as Mount Pelee, the Quill (volcano) on Sint Eustatius in the Caribbean Netherlands and The deepest site in this sea is the Cayman Trench between Cuba and Jamaica at 7500 m below the surface, although average depth is 2200 m (Spalding et al. The Caribbean Sea (Spanish: Mar Caribe; French: Mer des Carabes; Haitian Creole: Lam Karayib; Jamaican Patois: Kiaribiyan Sii; Dutch: Carabische Zee; Papiamento: Laman Karibe) is an American mediterranean sea of the Atlantic Ocean in the tropics of the Western Hemisphere. Connections were established with the Pacific Ocean during the Cretaceous Period (from about 145 to 66 million years ago) but were broken when the land bridges that permitted mammals to cross between North and South America were formed in the Miocene and Pliocene epochs (about 23 to 2.6 million years ago). As of 2015[update] the area is home to 22 island territories and borders 12 continental countries. This arc was formed by the collision of the South American Plate with the Caribbean Plate and includes active and extinct volcanoes such as Mount Pelee, the Quill (volcano) on Sint Eustatius in the Caribbean Netherlands and Morne Trois Pitons on Dominica. This sea is just as deep as it is wide. Guide to the Oceans. 2001). "Tsunamis in the Caribbean? The Central American Sea apparently became separated from the Atlantic before the end of the first phase. The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Caribbean Sea as follows:[5], Note that, although Barbados is an island on the same continental shelf, it is considered to be in the Atlantic Ocean rather than the Caribbean Sea.[6]. Our editors will review what youve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Turtle grass (Thalassia testudinum) is common in the Caribbean as is manatee grass (Syringodium filiforme) which can grow together as well as in fields of single species at depths up to 20m (66ft). The best deep sea fishing begins only a half-mile from the shore, with plenty of options for all types of adventurers. The mahogany is the national tree of the Dominican Republic and Belize. In coastal zones there are coconut palms and in lagoons and estuaries are found thick areas of black mangrove and red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle). The Caribbean Sea is one of the largest seas and has an area of about 2,754,000 km (1,063,000 sq. Three phases of sedimentation have been identified. Pernetta, John. Currently this protocol has been ratified by 15 countries. Caribbean Sea is one of the many seas of Atlantic Ocean. [28] The area also generates a large fishing industry for the surrounding countries, accounting for 500,000 tonnes (490,000 long tons; 550,000 short tons) of fish a year. Rainfall varies from about 10 inches (25 cm) per year on the island of Bonaire off the coast of Venezuela to some 350 inches (900 cm) annually in parts of Dominica. NOW 50% OFF! Parts of Earths crust there are moving apart. The Caribbeans greatest known depth is Cayman Trench (Bartlett Deep) between Cuba and Jamaica, approximately 25,216 feet (7,686 metres) below sea level. According to Birdlife International in 2006 in Cuba 29 species of bird are in danger of extinction and two species officially extinct. Omissions? These sills are located below the Anegada Passage, which runs between the Virgin Islands and the Lesser Antilles, and the Windward Passage, which stretches between Cuba and Hispaniola. The hydrology of the sea has a high level of homogeneity. Scientific data reveals that over the last 500 years the area has seen a dozen earthquakes above 7.5 magnitude. After Christopher Columbus landed in the Bahamas in 1492, the Spanish term Antillas applied to the lands; stemming from this, "Sea of the Antilles" became a common alternative name for "Caribbean Sea" in various European languages. Former Professor of Oceanography, Florida State University, Tallahassee, 196776. Interesting Caribbean Sea Facts: The deepest part of the Caribbean Sea is the Cayman Trench, located between Jamaica and Cuba. The Nicaraguan Rise, a wide triangular ridge with a sill depth of about 4,000 feet (1,200 metres), extends from Honduras and Nicaragua to Hispaniola, bearing the island of Jamaica and separating the Cayman Basin from the Colombian Basin. Caribbean fishing options include deep sea fishing, kayak fishing, night fishing and fly fishing, as well as fishing camps for kids. From there it divides to fill the Yucatn, Cayman, and Colombian basins at depths near 6,500 feet (2,000 metres). During the first century of development, Spanish dominance in the region remained undisputed. The Caribbean has fewer hurricanes than either the western Pacific (where these storms are called typhoons) or the Gulf of Mexico. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). URL accessed on 28/07/2007. The sill depth of Anegada Passage is between 6,400 and 7,700 feet (1,950 and 2,350 metres), whereas that of the Windward Passage is between 5,250 and 5,350 feet (1,600 and 1,630 metres). Different areas in the Caribbean have slightly different watercolor due to the areas currents. The Caribbean monk seal which lived in the Caribbean is considered extinct. [11] The surface water (30 m; 100 feet) acts as an extension of the northern Atlantic as the Guiana Current and part of the North Equatorial Current enter the sea on the east. 21st Century. If you're planning a trip to the Caribbean, it helps to know where you are going. Eakins, 2009. [10] Most recently, a 7.1 earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, 2010. The salinity of seawater is about 3.6% and its density is 1,023.51,024.0kg/m3 (63.9063.93lb/cuft). Media related to Caribbean Sea at Wikimedia Commons Find out how deep your knowledge of oceans and seas goes with this quiz. The surface water colour is blue-green to green. Throughout the Caribbean there is industrial catching of lobster and sardines (off the coast of Yucatn Peninsula). Elder, Danny and Pernetta, John. The vegetation of the region is mostly tropical but differences in topography, soil and climatic conditions increase species diversity. [30], A sea of the Atlantic Ocean bounded by North, Central and South America. Atlantic Ocean water enters the Caribbean through the Anegada Passage lying between the Lesser Antilles and Virgin Islands and the Windward Passage located between Cuba and Haiti. According to the National Hurricane Center 385 hurricanes occurred in the Caribbean between 1494 and 1900. 3 days ago. The emergence of these basins marked the beginning of the Atlantic Ocean and contributed to the destruction of Pangaea at the end of the late Jurassic. One of the best places to see this extraordinary juxtaposition is at the Glass Window Bridge. The Caribbean coastline has many gulfs and bays: the Gulf of Gonve, Gulf of Venezuela, Gulf of Darin, Golfo de los Mosquitos, Gulf of Paria and Gulf of Honduras. The habitats of almost all members of the toad family, poison dart frogs, tree frogs and leptodactylidae (a type of frog) are limited to only one island. The Caribbean Sea is an oceanic sea largely situated on the Caribbean Plate. The Caribbean Sea had been unknown to the populations of Eurasia until 1492, when Christopher Columbus sailed into Caribbean waters on a quest to find a sea route to Asia. These waters are then forced by the trade winds through the narrow Yucatn Channel into the Gulf of Mexico. These plants provide food for the corals, and give them their color. The sediment beds tend to arch in the middle of the basins and to dip as landmasses are approached. What is the worlds largest inland sea? Updates? Currents. Clay minerals appear to have been washed down by the Amazon and Orinoco rivers, as well as by the Magdalena River in Colombia. Explore {{searchView.params.phrase}} by color family {{familyColorButtonText(colorFamily.name)}} Global Land One-kilometer Base Elevation (GLOBE) v.1. (2004). NOAA Technical Memorandum NESDIS NGDC-24. In the early Jurassic due to powerful marine transgression, water broke into the present area of the Gulf of Mexico creating a vast shallow pool. Thats created a long, deep trench, along with metallic chimneys that belch dark, super-heated water.This busy region is known as the Cayman These are the Yucatn, Cayman, Colombian, Venezuelan, and Grenada basins. Hastings, D. and P.K. In 1963 one of the deadliest hurricanes on record, Flora, caused the loss of more than 7,000 lives and extensive property damage in the Caribbean alone. It is present in the tropics of the western Within the boundaries of the Caribbean itself, Jamaica, to the south of Cuba, is the largest of a number of islands. The Random House atlas of the oceans. Forces producing the Panamanian isthmus and the Antillean arc were vertical, resulting in no ultimate horizontal movement. The light blue waters of the shallow Caribbean Sea on one side of the island stand out in stark contrast to the deep blue of the Atlantic Ocean thousands of feet in depth. It is long about 180 km and thin - only about 1.6 km wide in places. Amante, C. and B.W. This Caribbean bottom water also enters the Venezuelan Basin, thus introducing high-oxygen water at depths of 5,900 to 9,800 feet (1,800 to 3,000 metres). Coral reefs fringe most of the islands. The pressure of the South American Plate to the east of the Caribbean causes the region of the Lesser Antilles to have high volcanic activity. 5. While many parts of the Caribbean offer great fishing options, certain destinations are better known for their catches. Virtually all temperature extremes were associated with the phenomena of El Nio and La Nia. Sure, the weather in much of the Caribbean is pretty similar, but there are some regional differences you should be aware of. The Caribbean Tourism Organization calculates that about 12million people a year visit the area, including (in 19911992) about 8million cruise ship tourists. During the first and second phases the basin was free of deformation. The sea is one of the largest oil production areas in the world, producing approximately 170million tons[clarification needed] per year. The younger Cenozoic beds (formed during the last 65 million years) are generally horizontal, having been laid down after the deformations occurred. The yearly average is about eight such storms. Caribbean Sea (22,788 ft) (6,946 meters) Arctic Ocean (18,456 ft) (5,625 meters) South China Sea (16,456 ft) (5,016 meters) Bering Sea (15,659 ft) (4,773 meters) Mediterranean Sea (15,197 ft) (4,632 meters) Gulf of Mexico (12,425 ft) (3,787 meters) Ocean Sizes and more At that time the Western Hemisphere in general was unknown to most Europeans, although it had been discovered between the years 800 and 1000 by the vikings. Coelacanths were thought to be extinct until found alive in 1938. The northeast trade winds dominate the region with an average velocity of 10 to 20 miles (16 to 32 km) per hour. The Caribbean sea floor is divided into five basins separated from each other by underwater ridges and mountain ranges. Another type shoal grass (Halodule wrightii) grows on sand and mud surfaces at depths of up to 5m (16ft). The climate of the Caribbean is driven by the low latitude and tropical ocean currents that run through it. The Caribbean Sea is known for its tourist-attracting wonders: sandy beaches, coral reefs, and beautiful blue-green waters. The Caribbean's floor is composed of sub-oceanic sediments of deep red clay in the deep basins and troughs. Subantarctic intermediate water (i.e., water differing in several characteristics from the surface and bottom layers of water that it separates) enters the Caribbean below the Anegada Passage at depths of 1,600 to 3,300 feet (500 to 1,000 metres). The green iguana is invasive to Grand Cayman. The existing sediment cover of the seabed consists of red clay in the deep basins and trenches, globigerina ooze (a calcareous marine deposit) on the rises, and pteropod ooze on the ridges and continental slopes. New York: Random House. Tourism based upon scuba diving and snorkeling on coral reefs of many Caribbean islands makes a major contribution to their economies. Halophila baillonii has been found only in the Lesser Antilles.[22]. Upper sedimentary layers relate to the period from the Mesozoic to the Cenozoic (250million years ago to present) and the lower layers from the Paleozoic to the Mesozoic. Deep water surrounds the island, making boat accessibility uncomplicated. There are 90 species of mammals in the Caribbean including sperm whales, humpback whales and dolphins. The complete area of the Caribbean Sea, including its numerous islands, is known as the Wider Caribbean. The larger islands in the northern part of the sea Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica and Puerto Rico lie on an older island arc. Technically the Bahamas is in the Atlantic, and is outside the Caribbean rim. Coral reefs support some of the most diverse marine habitats in the world, but they are fragile ecosystems. Dunbar. Analysis of toxic metals and hydrocarbons is based on the investigation of coastal sediments that have accumulated less than 50 meters deep during the last hundred and fifty years. Plunge has significant ecological consequences, Conservation International Caribbean Islands, An Overview of Land Based Sources of Marine Pollution, Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean: Economic Valuation Methodology, Guide to Marine Life: Caribbean-Bahamas-Florida, Defying Ocean's End: An Agenda For Action, Center For Advanced Study on Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, Sovereign states and dependent territories, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Caribbean_Sea&oldid=991718745, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Articles using infobox body of water without alt, Articles using infobox body of water without pushpin map alt, Articles using infobox body of water without alt bathymetry, Articles containing Spanish-language text, Articles containing Haitian Creole-language text, Articles containing Jamaican Patois-language text, Articles containing Papiamento-language text, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2015, All articles containing potentially dated statements, All articles with vague or ambiguous time, Vague or ambiguous time from November 2015, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from June 2017, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 1 December 2020, at 13:32. 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