Geography Facts About the Atlantic Ocean

Caitlin Dempsey

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The Atlantic Ocean, named after the Greek god Atlas, is the second-largest ocean in the world. The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world.

How Large is the Atlantic Ocean?

The Atlantic Ocean has an area of about 106,460,000 square kilometers (41,105,000 square miles). The Atlantic Ocean covers 20% of the Earth’s surface.

Where is the Atlantic Ocean Located?

The Atlantic Ocean is located between Africa, Europe, the Arctic Ocean, the Americas, and the Southern Ocean.

Map of the Atlantic Ocean. Map: CIA World Factbook, public domain.
Map of the Atlantic Ocean. Map: CIA World Factbook, public domain.

Basins of the Atlantic Ocean

The Atlantic Ocean is divided into two basins: the North Atlantic and the South Atlantic. The North Atlantic is the larger of the two basins with an area of North Atlantic: 41,490,000 square kilometers (16,020,000 square miles).

Lowest Point in the Atlantic Ocean

The lowest point in the Atlantic Ocean is the Puerto Rico Trench, located at a depth of 8,376 meters (27,480 feet). This trench is located on the boundary between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

Hurricane Season

Hurricanes are storms that occur in the Atlantic Ocean and northeastern Pacific Ocean (typhoons occur in the northwestern Pacific Ocean and cyclones happen in the South Pacific Ocean or Indian Ocean).

Hurricanes mostly form in the Atlantic Ocean between June and November each year.

Hurricane Ida just before landfall on the Louisiana coast on Aug. 29, 2021. NOAA.
Hurricane Ida just before landfall on the Louisiana coast on Aug. 29, 2021. NOAA

Other Interesting Geography Facts About the Atlantic Ocean

Of the major oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest on average.

The green, hawksbill, kemp’s ridley, leatherback, loggerhead, and olive ridley are six of the world’s seven sea turtle species that can be found in the Atlantic Ocean.

A loggerhead sea turtle on the beach amid small waves.
A loggerhead sea turtle returning to the Atlantic Ocean near Ocracoke, North Carolina. Photo: Dawn Childs, USGS, public domain.

The following states and territories of the United States have Atlantic coastlines:  Delaware, Florida, Maine, North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Virginia, and Puerto Rico

East Coast States with coastal access to the Atlantic Ocean. Map created using QGIS with Natural Earth GIS data.
East Coast States with coastal access to the Atlantic Ocean. Map created using QGIS with Natural Earth GIS data.

The Sargasso Sea is located in the middle of the Northern Atlantic Subtropical Gyre (a gyre is a large system of rotating ocean currents) near the Bermuda Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. This sea is the only sea in the world without a coast.

Location map showing where the Sargasso Sea is located. The base map is a tinted topography map showing the surrounding continents and a blue ocean.
Map showing the general location of the Sargasso Sea. Map: Caitlin Dempsey using Natural Earth data.

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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.

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