The physical features of the Atlantic Ocean

The Atlantic Ocean sits in an S-shaped basin that runs in a north-south direction, bounded by Europe and Africa on the east and by North and South America on the west. An ocean basin is a large, deep depression that gradually slopes towards the seafloor, forming the shape of a basin. The Atlantic is divided into the North and South sections by the Equator and is connected to the larger Pacific Ocean via the Arctic Ocean to the north, and by the Drake Passage to the south.


Running directly through the Atlantic Ocean is the great Mid-Atlantic Ridge, an underwater mountain range that runs from Iceland, all the way to 58šS latitude. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge separates the Atlantic Ocean into two main basins that are further divided into a number of other basins north and south of the equator. In the North Atlantic, the most prominent ocean basins are: the Baffin basin, the Hudson basin, the Labrador basin, the Newfoundland basin and the very large North American Basin that extends from just off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland to approximately the same latitude as Puerto Rico.