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The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth’s oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east.
See the fact file below for more information on the Pacific Ocean or alternatively, you can download our 20-page Pacific Ocean worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
OVERVIEW OF THE PACIFIC OCEAN
- The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest ocean in the world.
- Asia and Australia border it to the west, with North and South America bordering it on the east.
- The Pacific Ocean is over 63,000,000 square miles in area, and covers nearly half (46%) of the Earth’s water surface, and about a third of its total surface area.
THE PACIFIC OCEAN THROUGHOUT HISTORY
- Throughout history, several groups of people have migrated around the Pacific Ocean, dating back to 3000 BCE.
- The Pacific Islands are thought to have had people migrating through the Southeast Asian region, as well as moving northeast into eastern Micronesia and Polynesia.
- These travelers would have had long-range voyages via canoes, which is an incredible feat considering a lack of engineering and resources.
- From there, the Maori were established about 1,000 years ago in modern-day New Zealand.
- The longest of these Polynesian voyages involved the discovery and settlement of Hawaii.
- It wasn’t until the 16th century that the Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, English, and French voyages came into the picture.
- By the 18th century, exploration of the Pacific Ocean and its several tropical islands was dominated by the British and the French – predominantly John Byron, Samuel Wallis, Philip Carteret, and James Cook – all of whom discovered and settled islands such as Tahiti, Pitcairn Island, Samoa, New Guinea, and many others.
- The height of European exploration of the Pacific involved Captain James Cook during the second half of the 1700s.
- Cook was very thorough and accurate in his maps and charts of the area – so much so that they have not been changed very much since the time he first created them.
- Charles Darwin also made a few voyages through the Pacific in order to collect information about the properties of the ocean.
THE SCIENCE WITHIN THE PACIFIC OCEAN
- The Pacific Ocean was “born” 750 million years ago during the breakup of Rodinia (a supercontinent formerly named ‘Pangaea’).
- The most significant characteristic of the Pacific Ocean is its andesite line, which separates mafic basaltic volcanic rocks from the felsic andesitic volcanic rock (see descriptions below).
- Mafic – igneous rock that is rich in magnesium and iron.
- Basaltic -igneous rock formed by the rapid cooling of lava.
- Felsic – igneous rocks that are rich in feldspar and quartz.
- Volcanic – coming from a volcano.
- Since the Pacific Ocean covers both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, it is exposed to different weather patterns depending on the region being looked at.
- For example, the trade winds in the southern and eastern parts of the Pacific act as the steering flow for tropical storms that make landfall in places like Southeast Asia, eastern Africa, and North America.
- In the Northern Hemisphere, the conditions are far more varied due to colder temperatures off the east coast of Russia, mixed with milder weather patterns that occur in places like British Columbia in Canada.
- In the tropical parts of the Pacific, the El Nino (the name used to describe variation in winds and sea surface temperatures over the eastern part of the Pacific Ocean) affects weather conditions there.
- The salinity of the water in the Pacific depends on three factors: winds, precipitation, and evaporation.
- Generally, there is high salinity when there are more than 35 parts per thousand.
- The lowest salinity levels are located in the northernmost parts of the ocean, and the highest salinity levels are seen in the southeast, where the parts per thousand are 3.7 percent or higher.
- When there is more rainfall, the salinity decreases, and when evaporation occurs, that increases the salt concentration in the water.
- The Pacific Ocean’s temperatures average between 29.48 and 86 degrees fahrenheit.
CRAZY BUT TRUE
- If you put the entire land surface of the Earth together, the Pacific Ocean would still be bigger.
- Its greatest longitudinal extent (the distance is covers according to the lines of longitude) measures about 12,000 miles between Colombia (in South America) and the Malay Peninsula (in Asia).
- The Pacific Ocean got its name from the word “pacific”, meaning calm.
- The average depth of the Pacific Ocean is about 12,467 feet.
- There is a place within the Pacific Ocean called the Mariana Trench, and it is the lowest part of the earth.
- Most volcanoes (about 75%) are located in the Pacific Ocean basin.
- Most of the islands in the world are found in the Pacific Ocean – there are more than 25,000 of them in the Pacific alone!
Pacific Ocean Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Pacific Ocean across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Pacific Ocean worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Pacific Ocean which is the largest and deepest of Earth’s oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Profile of an Explorer
- The Mariana Trench
- True or False?
- Animal Profile
- Pacific Ocean Wordsearch
- Ring of Fire Quest
- Postcard from a Boat
- Pacific Ocean Crossword
- Problems with Plastic
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Link will appear as Pacific Ocean Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, November 14, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.