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Scotia Sea

The Scotia Sea is located at the north corner edge of the Southern Ocean where the ocean borders the South Atlantic Ocean.

On the western side, the Scotia Sea borders the passage known as the Drake Passage while on the northern, eastern, and southern corners the Scotia Sea borders the Scotia Arc which comprises of an undersea ridge and Island arc system providing support to a number of islands.

The Scotia Sea is based on the Scotia plate.

Scotia Sea Facts for Kids

  • The Scotia Sea has a total area of approximately 350, 000 square miles which is equivalent to more than 900, 000 square kilometers.
  • The Scotia Sea lies on a marine basin which is complex and has forces that cause some movements in it. The basin is enclosed on the north, east, and south by the Scotia Ridge.
  • On the western end of the Scotia Sea, the ridge forms an opening submarine loop which has a total length of about 2,700 miles which is equivalent to 4,350 kilometers. The loop connects the Tierra del Fuego of South America with the north part of Palmer Land of the Antarctic Peninsula.
  • The Scotia Sea was named after the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition (1902-1904) Vessel Scotia which was under the command of S. Bruce.
  • The Scotia Sea has a long history of exploration since its exploration started back in the 17th century. Throughout the 18th and 19th century, the exploration of the Scotia Sea was driven by the desire to find a location with a constant supply of whales and suitable for sealing activities.
  • The Scotia Sea is divided into two basins which are West Scotia Basin which is the larger basin and the East Scotia Basin which is the smaller basin. The two basins are separated by a minor rise connecting South Georgia with the South Orkney Islands.
  • The Scotia Sea has a depth that ranges between 10,000 and 13,000 feet (3,000 m to 4,000m). However, on the east side of the sea, the water depth is more than 7,900m (26,000 feet) in the Meteor Deep of the South Sandwich Trench.
  • Waters of the southern seas moving clockwise around the Antarctic continent is channeled through the Drake Passage which has a width of 600 miles (965 kilometers)and the Scotia Sea.
  • The Scotia Sea has a number of islands that are rocky and mountainous. However, some parts of the islands are covered with snow.
  • The region around the Scotia Sea experiences cold temperatures which support different types of plants and animals that are adapted to the Antarctic climatic conditions. Such organisms include moss and lichen.
  • Human activities have negatively impacted the population of the mammals in the islands of the Scotia Sea whereby some of the species are almost coming to extinction. The introduction of animals such as cats, dogs, rats, and mice has turned out to be a major threat to nesting of birds on the grounds of some islands in the Scotia Sea.
  • The Scotia Sea is a home for many different species of birds and fish. The most common species of birds found in the Scotia |Sea are seabirds, coast birds, and land birds which include petrels, penguins, gulls, terns, skuas, and sheathbills. Almost 100 species of fish and a number of species of whales and seals also live in the Scotia Sea.
  • The Scotia Sea has become a center for various fishing activities.
  • The Scotia Sea has a major current known as the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC). The current originates from the Drake Passage and is directed to the north due to the Scotia ridge and finally gets back to the East moving around the South Georgia and heads to the east through the Atlantic Part of the Southern Sea.