The ocean has been around for many billions of years. – Our first ocean took millions of years to mature into its present state. Before the temperature on Earth fell below 212 degrees Fahrenheit, water existed in the form of a gas. Around 3.8 billion years ago, the water in the atmosphere condensed into rain, which then filled the basins that are today known as the global ocean.
The vast majority of scientists are of the opinion that the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans were formed as a result of the continuous “degassing” of the planet’s interior over a period of millions and millions of years. According to this idea, the ocean was produced when water vapor and other gases escaped from the molten rocks of the Earth and into the atmosphere around the cooling planet.
This allowed the rocks to cool more quickly. After the surface of the Earth had cooled to a temperature that was lower than the point at which water boils, rain began to fall, and it continued to fall for hundreds of years after that. The primordial ocean was formed as a result of the water that drained into the large hollows that are found on the surface of the earth.
How to determine the age of the oceans?
1. Pacific Ocean – Approximately 180 million years old at this time Surface Area: 63,800,000 sq mi (165,250,000 km²) Volume: 170,000,000 cu mi (710,000,000 km³) The typical depth is 14,040 feet (4,280 m) The maximum depth is 35,797 feet (10,911 m) image courtesy of the Wikimedia Commons The Pacific Ocean is the world’s oldest ocean, with the oldest section of its seabed going back around 180 million years.
On the other hand, scientifically speaking, the Pacific Ocean is far older than the Atlantic Ocean since it sprang from the core of Panthalassa, an ancient ocean that began to take shape some 750 million years ago. Panthalassa is also referred to as the Paleo-Pacific because of this reason. The Pacific Ocean is the deepest and most expansive of all the world’s oceans, spanning more than 46 percent of the entire watery surface of the Earth and almost one-third of the planet’s total land area.
It is also the oldest portion of the World Ocean. As a result, the Pacific Ocean now encompasses more space than all of the land on the planet combined. Because of the seismic and volcanic activity that occurs around the Pacific Ocean’s perimeter, the Pacific Ocean is sometimes referred to as the Pacific Ring of Fire on occasion.
- More than 75 percent of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes are located in the Ring of Fire, which is a band of volcanoes that stretches for over 25,000 miles and has approximately 452 volcanoes.
- The Pacific Ocean is home to around 25,000 different islands and borders a number of different nations and territories.
In addition, it is home to hundreds of volcanoes. The United States of America, Fiji, Mexico, Vietnam, the Philippines, Canada, Russia, Chile, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand are just few of the nations that share a border with the Pacific Ocean. There are many other countries that share this border as well.
What is the history of the ocean?
MarineBio Conservation Society | A Historical Perspective On The Ocean The ocean is not just the region of the world in which all of the land is covered by water. The geological makeup of the sea floor is entirely different from that of the continents.
How much older is the ocean floor than the surface?
Near seafloor spreading centers or mid-ocean ridges, you’ll find the ocean floor’s crust that is the youngest. When the plates begin to break apart, magma that is located deep below the surface of the earth begins to come to the surface in order to fill the space left behind.
- As the magma attaches itself to the moving plate, it begins to solidify and crystallize, and as it moves further away from the divergent boundary, it continues to cool over the course of millions of years.
- As with any other type of rock, the plates of basaltic composition, once they have cooled, become thinner and denser.
When an ancient, frigid, and dense oceanic plate collides with a thick, buoyant continental crust or a newer (and hence warmer and thicker) oceanic crust, the oceanic plate will always subduct. Subduction occurs when an oceanic plate has a thickness greater than its density.
- In essence, older oceanic plates have a greater likelihood of being subducted because of their increased age.
- As a result of the association that exists between the age of an ocean floor and its capacity for subduction, very little of the ocean floor is older than 125 million years, and nearly none of it is older than 200 million years.
As a result, dating rocks on the seafloor after the Cretaceous period is not very relevant for the study of plate movements. Geologists use dating and studying continental crust to do this. The Mediterranean Sea is the lone anomaly in all of this, appearing as a vivid splash of purple to the north of Africa.
What is the oldest ocean in the world?
People become extremely excited over water that’s been labeled “exceptional.” We have a tendency to forget that all of the water on Earth originated from the same location and merely travels from one body of water to another, as evidenced by the production of beer using ice that is 25,000 years old in Canada, the sale of expensive bottled waters that are distributed across the globe, and a general distaste for recycling used water.
As a gentle reminder that everything is interrelated and that we should avoid polluting these ultimately limited reservoirs, I once had the hydrological cycle painted on my surfboard. If almost none of the water on earth can be described as “fresh,” then how old is it, and how did it get here in the first place? It is estimated that around 4.54 billion years ago, the Earth and the other planets in our solar system originated from the condensation and accretion of dust and pebbles into increasing lumps that eventually became planets as a result of gravitational attraction.
On the other hand, it’s quite unlikely that there was any liquid water on the planet when it was initially formed (if this theory of planet formation is correct, it would have been far too hot for liquid water at first). The formation of the seas has been hypothesized to have occurred in two primary ways by scientists.
The oceans could have formed from the off-gassing of water vapor that cooled, condensed, and rained out as liquid water from the molten interior of the Earth (this continues today with volcanic activity); this is essentially steam escaping out of the Earth’s rocks; or they could have been delivered from space by the collisions of icy comets or meteors with the Earth.
It is currently uncertain which of these scenarios is responsible for the majority of the water that is found in the oceans; however, we do know that the bulk of the water that is found in the oceans (and on the rest of the globe) is rather old – on the order of 4 billion years old.
On the other hand, when scientists talk about the “age” of ocean waters, they frequently mean something quite different. Specifically, they mean the amount of time that the water has spent at the surface of the ocean disconnected from the atmosphere. There is movement over the surface of the seas, with warm waters from the tropics migrating toward the poles on the western edges of ocean basins and cold waters from the Arctic and Antarctic moving back towards the equator on the eastern sides.
The oceans are not still environments (see this page for some amazing visualizations). But the oceans also rotate vertically; this means that waters at the top that are cold and salty (and hence dense) sink to the bottom in a few locations across the planet, then travel through the basins located farther down in the ocean’s cold and dark depths before rising elsewhere.
- This type of circulation is referred to as the Thermohaline Circulation because it is driven by changes in water density brought about by temperature (the “thermo”) and salinity (the “haline”).
- The Ocean Conveyor Belt is another name for this phenomenon.
- When the ocean freezes, salt is forced out of the ice, and the water that remains in the ocean below becomes extremely salty as a result.
This is one method for producing highly thick water. When it comes to the average drop of saltwater, how long does it take for it to go all the way from the surface in the north Atlantic to the depths in the north Pacific? Approximately a thousand years.
- If you believe that this means that ancient water is completely free from any of the unpleasant things that humans waste into the ocean and, as a result, that you should drink it, you are correct; however, you will have to pay a premium price to do so (note: I think this entire idea is nuts).
- How do we know that the water in the deep Pacific is around a thousand years “old”? It does not have a date that indicates when it was made or any other helpful dating characteristics, such as the rings in a tree.
Radiocarbon dating, often known as 14 C dating, is an interesting method for determining the age of the ocean. This radioactive isotope is produced naturally in the Earth’s atmosphere by solar radiation, and it only accounts for a very tiny fraction of the planet’s total carbon content (the rest is composed of stable forms of the element: 12 C and 13 C).
Carbon-containing substances such as atmospheric CO 2 that include “fresh” radiocarbon are capable of dissolving in ocean waters when they come into contact with air. Those surface waters would then contain the same quantity of radiocarbon as the atmosphere; but, when they sink, the radioactive carbon begins to decay at a fixed pace.
This process would continue until the surface waters were devoid of radiocarbon. We know that the deep Pacific contains the oldest waters in the ocean because we have measured the amount of radiocarbon that is still present in the waters of the ocean at various depths and in various locations around the world.
- These waters have been isolated from the atmosphere for approximately one thousand years before they are brought back up to the surface again.
- So, tell me, what are your thoughts? Why is it so vital for the ocean to mix? What may possibly take place if circulation speeds up owing to changes in the global climate? (Here’s a hint: have you watched the incredibly imaginative film The Day After Tomorrow?) References Formation of early water seas on stony planets, by L.T.
Elkins-Tanton. The Journal of Astrophysics and Space Science, Volume 332, Pages 359-364 (2011). Ocean-like water found in the Jupiter-family comet 103P/Hartley 2, according to research by P. Hartogh and colleagues published in Nature 478, pages 218 and 220.