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Oceanography/Depths of the ocean


Hello Randy:

I have a question about how depths of the ocean are spread geographically over the world but first, allow me to introduce myself.

I am a Technical Diving student and a Divemaster working on a presentation intended for aspiring scuba divers. The purpose of this is to show them:

a) how many square miles of the oceans bottom can be reaches by "Open Water" divers who are only able to dive to 60 feet.

b) When the same students become "Deep Divers" they are able to reach 100 feet of depth. How much of the ocean floors covered area can now be accessed by them.

c) When the same student becomes a "Decompression Diver" he is able to reach a depth of 150 feet. How much of the oceans floors total covered area can now be reached?

d) When the student becomes "Trimix Diver" he is able to reach 200 feet. How much of the ocean floors total covered area can he now reach?

e) When the student becomes "Advanced Trimix Diver" he is able to reach 330 feet. How much of the total ocean floor can he now reach?

I understand that 140 million square miles is covered by the ocean. I also understand that 2.3 miles is the average depth. I was wondering if you could tell me with a greater precision

a) Square miles of the ocean that is 60 feet deep.
b) Square miles of the ocean that is 100 feet deep.
c) Square miles of the ocean that is 150 feet deep.
d) Square miles of the ocean that is 200 feet deep.
e) Square miles of the ocean that is 330 feet deep.

Any numbers and estimates that you may have will be greatly appreciated.

Regards -

Aziz Khan  

Thanks for the question. However, I don't think this type of information is readily available. As a diver myself (open water), as well as an oceanographer, I would find these statistics fascinating. On the other hand, it might not be too helpful for recreational divers since a lot of places that are accessible from a depth criterion are not good places to dive.

Sorry I don't have more info for you but good luck with your class anyway.  


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randy patton


Physical oceanography, surface and internal wave characteristics, ocean currents, fluid mechanics, geophysical fluid dynamics, ocean optics, coastal dynamics, modeling and simulation, data analysis, El Nino and related large scale dynamics Not an expert in marine biology (some in bioluminescence) or chemical oceanography


26 years as professional scientist for research company working mostly on Navy and other government contracts. Projects included modeling, simulations and data analysis related to Non-acoustic Anti-submarine Warfare (NAASW). Other projects included remote sensing of ocean features, statistical analysis of ship tracks, ocean optics instrumentation development, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and sonar (SAS).

Journal of Physical Oceanography, 1984, "A Numerical Model for Low-Frequency Equatorial Dynamics" (with M. Cane)

MS Physical Oceanography, MIT, 1981 BS Applied Math, UC Berkeley, 1976

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