Continental Shelf : The Ocean Floor Essay

1146 Words Nov 24th, 2014 5 Pages
Continental shelves are the gently sloping areas of the ocean floor, contiguous to the continent, that extend from the coastline to the shelf-break (9. Rapid response). The continental shelf is an important oceanic zone that has many resources and vital habitats for marine life. Some of the resources and minerals found there are silica, phosphorus, calcium, nitrogen and petroleum. Plants and algae make continental shelves rich feeding grounds for marine creatures. The continental shelves are packed with resources made up from dissolved biological material. Once the marine life has passed, it falls to the ocean floor where it is covered up by sediment and rock. As millions of years go by, the organisms that were covered and trapped between porous sedimentary rock and impermeable layer and become resources. Continental shelves are on depositional coastlines, or passive margins, which make the production of natural gas and other resources abundant to other geographical areas. The shelves make up less than ten percent of the total area of the oceans, yet all of the ocean’s plants and many types of algae live in the sunny waters of the shelves, along with the abundance of sea creatures thriving there. There has been an abundance of research on the harmful effects due to the exploration of the continental shelves throughout the globe due to oil drilling. Not only does this process hurt the ocean floor, but it disrupts the life that thrives there as well. Offshore oil and gas…

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