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Pacific Ocean

Pacific Ocean Deep-Waters-in-the-Pacific-Ocean
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Balliett, James Fargo - Gale Virtual Reference Library

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On August 14, 2017
Last modified:August 14, 2017


Facts on Deep Waters in the Pacific Ocean

Deep Waters in the Pacific Ocean

Famous for its deep waters and located in the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Alaska is a broad inlet tucked to the border of North America. Spanning around 592,000 square miles (1.5 million square kilometres), the gulf is bordered by land on either side. To the east, west, and north is Alaska’s state, and to the south is the Pacific Ocean. Where the Gulf and land meet, the water depths are relatively shallow between 300 and 600 ft (91 and 183 meters) before a couple of hundred miles offshore, where the gulf drops sharply off the continental shelf to a maximum depth of approximately 15,000 ft (4,572 meters).

Where the Gulf and land meet, the water depths are relatively shallow between 300 and 600 ft (91 and 183 meters) before a couple of hundred miles offshore, where the gulf drops sharply off the continental shelf to a maximum depth of approximately 15,000 ft (4,572 meters).

This area of the Pacific Ocean sits at the intersection of cold water and warm currents, providing opportunities to flourish on the upwelling of nutrients. The gulf conveyed waters from east to west and known as the Alaska Current, which rotates in clockwise motion comes with a substantial present or gyre. The Kuroshio Current, another influence, contributes water carrying nutrient-rich water to the gulf. Phytoplankton living in the waters, nourished from the nutrients in the seas that are warm, multiply to offer food and grow.

Weather systems are formed in the gulf where waters from the Pacific Ocean intersect. This area was described after travelling across the sea to the burial ground for Pacific storms, which arrive low in energy. When surface currents in the Pacific and these storms come into contact, however, powers up storms.

These humpback whales are bubble feeding. In a not entirely understood, and complicated, manoeuvre that is societal, a group of whales functions together to encircle a school of fish by releasing a wall of bubbles which works like a net trapping the fish. The whales float up catching the fish into their mouths with a motion churn on the region heavily from the gulf and snow and rain.

By way of instance, in the nearby southern Alaskan town of Juneau, it rains around 250 times annually, with an annual precipitation of around 85 inches (216 centimetres). Storms that arise in the Gulf impact much of North America’s weather, often bands in America, across the property to British Columbia, in Canada and Seattle, Washington.

The marine geology from Alaska’s Gulf includes a collection of submerged volcanoes. Nearly 100 hills that were formed starting 100 million years back, length a 400-mile-long (644-kilometer-long) series. The majority of the peaks tower around 12,000 feet (3,658 meters) in the bottom of the gulf, but all stop within 2,500 feet (762 meters) of the surface.

The seamounts support a diversity of corals that are large that offer shelter and habitat for fish and crustacean populations at different levels. In 2002 and 2004, crews in deep-sea submersibles, including the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute’s Alvin, turned their attention to these formerly unstudied capabilities.

Examples of Marine Life in the Gulf of Alaska




Sources: Alaska Natural Heritage Program and Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 2009.


Pacific Cod

(Gadus microcephalus)



(Haliotis discus hannai)

Black-footed Albatross


(Phoebastria nigripes)

Blue Whale


(Balaenoptera musculus)

Green Sea Turtle


(Chelonia mydas)


(Clupea pallasii)

Red King Crab


(Paralithodes camtschaticus)

Arctic Tern


(Sterna paradisaea)

Harbor Seal


(Phoca vitulina)

Leatherback Turtle

(Dermochelys coriacea)


(Scomber japonicus)

Pacific Sea Scallop


(Patinopecten caurinus)

Parakeet Auklet


(Aethia psittacula)

Killer Whale


(Orcinus orca)

Olive Ridley Turtle

(Lepidochelys olivacea)

Alaska Pollock

(Theragra chalcogramma)



(Pandalus Borealis)

King Eider


(Somateria spectabilis)

Sperm Whale


(Physeter macrocephalus)

Loggerhead Sea Turtle

(Caretta caretta)



(Sardinops sagax)

Snow Crab


(Chionoecetes opilio)

Parasitic Jaeger


(Stercorarius parasiticus)



(Odobenus rosmarus)

Hawksbill Turtle

(Eretmochelys imbricata)

Although no people live In the peoples of the area, have settled in the centre of the Gulf of Alaska as far back as 14,000 years back. Humans migrated across the Bering Land Bridge, which joined Alaska and Siberia during the Pleistocene ice ages occasionally.

The people, nowadays, Live in Alaska. Their diets rely on a catch of Gulf and shellfish fish salmon. Culture and their individuality are closely linked to the environment.

Another group Athabaskans occupies a place on the north end of the gulf. Seven subgroups live close to the water. They use fishing boats of this type their ancestors developed centuries ago to catch cod, bass, mackerel, and salmon.

Because of the bountiful life From the Gulf waters, the fishing sector has grown since the 1970s. In 2000, the commercial business employed 65,000 individuals who captured 4.4 billion pounds (two billion kilograms) of fish and earned around $2 billion.

The industry has concentrated on Catching and selling a dozen favourite species, such as Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis; 85 million pounds, or 39 million kilograms, annually). Salmon (many species in the family Salmonidae; 170 million pounds, or 77 million kilograms, annually), and Alaskan pollock (Theragra Chalco-gramma; 1.7 billion pounds, or 800 million kilograms, annually).

Overfishing of red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus) in 1983 resulted in the species and fishing regulations. Despite catch limits, in the 2006 season, 250 ships caught 14 million pounds (6.4 million kilograms) of crab in under a week, leading to the close of the season. Because of limited fishing opportunities, the fleet shrank in 2008.

While fishing in the Gulf of Alaska can be rewarding, these waters are a few of the most dangerous in America. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, the fatality rate is 151 deaths from every 100,000-people employed in this business. Drowning is the cause of around 80 percent of the deaths.

Pollution and Damage

The Gulf of the lively of Alaska Geology poses the area in the kind of earthquakes that cause waves, or tsunamis with a hazard. The origin is the section of the North American plate.

On March 27, 1965, the Great Friday Earthquake, with a magnitude of 9.2, happened; the epicentre was close to Prince William Sound in the northern end of the gulf. This was the largest earthquake ever recorded in North America. It was equivalent to the force of 63,000 atomic bombs, and the sea floor has been increased 36 feet (11 meters) in places. The event generated an enormous tsunami which was estimated at 1,742 ft (531 meters) high as it influenced southern Alaska in Lituya Bay.

The earthquake, which lasted for Around five minutes, killed people and another eleven were killed by the waves as far away. The undersea fault which was shaped quantified 500 miles (805 kilometres) east to west by 125 miles (201 kilometres) north to south.

On March 24, 1989, Approximately midnight, the 987-foot (301-meter) petroleum tanker Exxon Valdez ran to a coastal reef in the Gulf of Alaska’s Prince William Sound. The ensuing drop of 10.8 million gallons (41 million litres) of crude oil was among the worst ecological disasters in U.S. history. The petroleum contaminated 1,500 miles (2,414 kilometres) of coastline and killed a massive number of marine creatures, including estimated half a million seabirds, 5,500 sea otters, 300 Harbor seals, 300 bald eagles, and thirteen killer whales, in addition to much billion-individual fish and numerous other marine species.

The state of the and Alaska A $ 900 million settlement was reached by the government in 1991 with the Exxon Corporation. Exxon paid $ 287 million for damages to tens of thousands of Alaska plaintiffs to the environment and economy. Since the settlement, the petroleum company (now Exxon Mobil Corporation) has spent millions of dollars fighting an additional $5 billion penalty imposed for punitive damages. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a lower court decision in 2008, sending the case back to an appeals court for a revised penalty amount.

Exxon Mobil announced That it wouldn’t appeal the appeals court’s decision and that it planned to cover a judgment of $470 million and $ 507 million. The company is currently refusing to cover the $70 million in legal fees.

After the Exxon Valdez oil spill of March 1989, Five adult sea otters that were oil-soaked and one infant lay dead in Prince William Sound off Alaska, on the shores of Green Island. In 1990, the U.S. Congress enacted legislation requiring all oil tankers in U.S. waters to be double-hulled by the year 2015, to be able to give added protection against these environmental disasters.

The Gulf of the salt water of Alaska Has incurred chemical alterations as a consequence of increased amounts of overall climate change and carbon dioxide. Particularly, the reduced pH of the sea water has affected the area’s inhabitants of pteropods (Limacina helicina), often referred to as sea butterflies, a species of very little molluscs that swims with wing-like flaps on the surface and eat plankton. The molluscs are not able to form their shells, which are made primarily as a result of a deficiency of calcium in its acidity and the water.

Without the proper nutrients in The water bodies are dissolving. This species’ population decline, which feeds fish, has started to impact species.

Mitigation and Management

Commencing in the 1950s, the area’s Rapidly growing fishing industry brought bigger and more boats to scour the sea waters in the gulf. With the populations of species like coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) and Pacific Ocean perch (Sebastes alutus) in decrease under these pressures, public outcry resulted in new laws to deal with overfishing in the Gulf of Alaska.

In 1976, the U.S. Congress Passed the Fishery Conservation and Management Act to govern fisheries management and conserve fish populations known as stocks. This legislation was passed as numerous species in coastal waters, like the sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), started to disappear. Regional fishery management councils were established to draw up management strategies that were comprehensive. The Northern Pacific Fishery Management Council, the local affiliate, drafted action plans including one to help restore, for the gulf.

This law that is broad was reauthorized with a series of criteria that were added to increase conservation efforts in 2006. Specifically, the legislation sets a deadline of 2011 to prevent overfishing by requiring capture constraints. Changing the way quotas are assigned, increasing enforcement efforts and national and state partnerships in quota regions, establishing a new program to better study and protect deep-sea corals, and requiring fishery councils to establish scientific committees to provide data for future planning.

To enhance Understand the diversity and biotic health of the Gulf of Alaska, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a U.S. federal agency, announced the gulf area component of the Large Marine Ecosystems Program (LME) in 1984. This designation provided financing for Gulf studies which use an integrated approach to sustaining its resources and the water body. Program studies analyse ecosystems in five regions: ecosystem productivity, governance, pollution/ecosystem health, fish/fisheries, and socioeconomics.

Signs of climate change Gulf of Alaska have motivated study to understand this phenomenon better. In the 1990s, the Pacific Ocean was included in the Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC) program funded by the National Science Foundation and NOAA. The program supports research that studies components of the marine Ecosystem respond to climate change both now and previously. Studies Determine how changes in the movements of storms, currents, as well as chemistry, reduce alter conditions or nutrients for species in the gulf and affect Capture and population levels amounts.

As of 2009, studies demonstrated that the water temperature of the Gulf increase Had led to a rise in ground fish and a decrease in crab and shrimp and salmon. Nutrients are delivered when temperatures rise Over the ocean bottom. Researchers are helped by this data Understand possible consequences of climate change Gulf of Alaska

Facts on Deep Waters in the Pacific Ocean