Southern Ocean

A verdict by the International Hydrographic Organization in the spring of 2000 delimited a fifth world ocean - the Southern Ocean - from the southern portions of the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, and Pacific Ocean. The Southern Ocean extends from the coast of Antarctica north to 60 degrees south latitude, which concur with the Antarctic Treaty Limit. The Southern Ocean is now the fourth largest ocean in the world. The Southern Ocean is aslo called as Antarctic Ocean


Body of the water between 60 degrees south latitude and Antarctica.

Geographic coordinates : 65 00 S, 0 00 E (nominally), but the Southern Ocean has the unique distinction of being a large circumpolar body of water fully encircling the continent of Antarctica; this ring of water lies between 60 degrees south latitude and the coast of Antarctica and encompasses 360 degrees of longitude.


Total Area

20.327 million sq km. This includes Amundsen Sea, Bellingshausen Sea, part of the Drake Passage, Ross Sea, small part of the Scotia Sea, Weddell Sea, and other tributary water bodies.

Area - comparative: a little more than twice the size of the US.

Coastline: 17,968 km.



Sea temperatures differ from about 10 degrees Celsius to -2 degrees Celsius, cyclonic storms travel eastward around the continent and frequently are intense because of the temperature contrast between the ice and open ocean, the ocean area from about latitude 40 south to the Antarctic Circle has the strongest average winds found anyplace on Earth, in winter the ocean freezes outward to 65 degrees south latitude in the Pacific sector and 55 degrees south latitude in the Atlantic sector, lowering surface temperatures well below 0 degrees Celsius, at some coastal points intense persistent drainage winds from the interior keep the shoreline ice-free throughout the winter.

List of Seas in Southern Ocean

Amundsen Sea
Bass Strait
Bellingshausen Sea
Davis Sea
Great Australian Bight
Gulf Saint Vincent
Mawson Sea
Ross Sea
Scotia Sea
Spencer Gulf
Weddell Sea