Oceans around South Africa
South Africa has a coastline of some 3 000 km, Namibia 1 572 km and Mozambique 2 470km. This part of the African continent is located close to three Oceans, namely the South Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean and the Southern Ocean. The southern tip of the African continent is exposed to the weather storms generated in the Southern Ocean, and the waves erode beaches and impact on shipping (using the Cape Route) and ports.
- Area 106,400,000 km² (marginal seas included).
- Average depth 3,310 m (marginal seas included).
- 2nd largest of world oceans.
- Occupies an s-shaped basin extending longitudinally from the Americas in the west to Europe and Africa in the east.
- The borders of the South Atlantic Ocean are defined by the equator to the north, South America to the west, Drake’s passage in the southwest which links it to the Pacific Ocean, Africa to the east, the 60° parallel to the south where it meets the Southern Ocean, and to the southeast the 20° East meridian running from Cape Agulhas to the Southern Ocean boundary, which is also where the South Atlantic meets the Indian Ocean.
- 2 most prominent bottom topography (bathymetric) features are the Mid- Atlantic Ridge (runs N to S from Iceland to 58 °S) and Walvis Ridge (runs ~NE to SW for 1000s miles off coast of southern Africa).
- Area 74,000,000 km² (marginal seas included).
- Average depth 3,840 m (marginal seas included).
- 3rd largest ocean on Earth’s surface.
- Its northern boundary is South Asia, to the west it is bounded by Africa, the east, by Indochina, the Sunda Islands and Australia, and the Southern Ocean is the south boundary.
- It’s the youngest of the major oceans; active spreading ridges include Carlsberg Ridge, Southwest Indian Ridge, Southeast Indian Ridge, and the Central Indian Ridge.
- The Ninety East Ridge runs north-south at meridian 90°E, dissecting the Indian Ocean into eastern and western halves. Another submerged mountain range runs approximately north-south between the Atolls of the Maldives and the Chagos Archipelago.
- The Kerguelen Plateau is a large submerged continent, of volcanic origin, in the southern Indian Ocean.
- The Mascarene Plateau is a 2000 km long undersea plateau that lies east of Madagascar.