Answer in Brief
Write a note on continental shelf and continental slope.
- Continental Shelf:
- A shallow and gently sloping platform extending out from the adjoining continental landmass into the sea is called Continental Shelf.
- It is almost a uniform zone of sea bed with a gentle gradient.
- They are shallower, thus enables sunlight to penetrate through the water. This encourages abundant growth of grass, sea weeds, and plankton. Hence these zones become the richest. fishing grounds in the world, e.g. The Grand Banks of Newfoundland.
- The continental shelves have extensive deposits of minerals and mineral fuels. Hence, this zone becomes accessible for oil drilling and mining activities: e.g. Mumbai High in Arabian Sea.
- Continental Slope:
- A steep slope which descends from the edge of the continental shelf to the deep ocean- bed is called continental slope.
- It forms a boundary between the Continental Crust and the oceanic crust.
- This zone is free from deposits as they are steep. The most important characteristic of. continental slope is the presence of deep canyons and trenches.
- Due to the low penetration of sunlight, the slope has nearly freezing temperatures.
Hence aquatic life has very slow rate of metabolism.
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