The European Shelf

The European continental shelf

The European continental shelf lies within the Barents and Norweigan Seas. From this shelf arises the islands of the Franz Josef and Svalbard archipelagos. The shelf is complex, with many ridges, banks and valleys, but its depth variation is better known than that of the Siberian shelf. The depth of this shelf ranges from 150 to 300 metres, and the shelf floor is covered with rocks and boulders. In shallower areas, smooth, water-polished pebbles cover the bedrock.