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Adverse environmental issues — commonly including overfishing , industrial and agricultural runoff , dredging , and dumping, among others — have led to a number of efforts to prevent degradation and to safeguard the long-term economic benefits. The North Sea is bounded by the Orkney Islands and east coast of Great Britain to the west  and the northern and central European mainland to the east and south, including Norway , Denmark , Germany , the Netherlands , Belgium , and France.
The North Sea is more than kilometres mi long and kilometres mi wide, with an area of , square kilometres , sq mi and a volume of 54, cubic kilometres 13, cu mi. A large part of the European drainage basin empties into the North Sea, including water from the Baltic Sea. For the most part, the sea lies on the European continental shelf with a mean depth of 90 metres ft. The Dogger Bank , a vast moraine , or accumulation of unconsolidated glacial debris, rises to a mere 15 to 30 m 50 to ft below the surface. These great banks and others make the North Sea particularly hazardous to navigate,  which has been alleviated by the implementation of satellite navigation systems.
The feature is a series of asymmetrical trenches between 20 and 30 kilometres 12 and 19 mi long, one and two kilometres 0. On the Southwest. On the Northwest. On the North. On the East. The winter months see frequent gales and storms. The main pattern to the flow of water in the North Sea is an anti-clockwise rotation along the edges. The North Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean receiving the majority of ocean current from the northwest opening, and a lesser portion of warm current from the smaller opening at the English Channel. These tidal currents leave along the Norwegian coast. Low salinity surface coastal waters move offshore, and deeper, denser high salinity waters move inshore. The North Sea located on the continental shelf has different waves from those in deep ocean water.
The wave speeds are diminished and the wave amplitudes are increased. In the North Sea there are two amphidromic systems and a third incomplete amphidromic system. The Kelvin tide of the Atlantic Ocean is a semidiurnal wave that travels northward. Some of the energy from this wave travels through the English Channel into the North Sea.
The wave continues to travel northward in the Atlantic Ocean, and once past the northern tip of Great Britain, the Kelvin wave turns east and south and once again enters the North Sea. The eastern and western coasts of the North Sea are jagged, formed by glaciers during the ice ages. The coastlines along the southernmost part are covered with the remains of deposited glacial sediment.
South of Stavanger, the coast softens, the islands become fewer. From north east of England , the cliffs become lower and are composed of less resistant moraine , which erodes more easily, so that the coasts have more rounded contours. The southern coastal areas were originally flood plains and swampy land. In areas especially vulnerable to storm surges, people settled behind elevated levees and on natural areas of high ground such as spits and geestland.
The modern form of the dikes supplemented by overflow and lateral diversion channels, began to appear in the 17th and 18th centuries, built in the Netherlands. Coastal management today consists of several levels. Storm surges threaten, in particular, the coasts of the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and Denmark and low lying areas of eastern England particularly around The Wash and Fens. The first recorded storm tide flood was the Julianenflut , on 17 February In its wake, the Jadebusen , a bay on the coast of Germany , began to form. A storm tide in is recorded to have killed more than , people.
Chronicles of the time again record more than , deaths, large parts of the coast were lost permanently to the sea, including the now legendary lost city of Rungholt. Though rare, the North Sea has been the site of a number of historically documented tsunamis. The Storegga Slides were a series of underwater landslides, in which a piece of the Norwegian continental shelf slid into the Norwegian Sea. The immense landslips occurred between BCE and BCE, and caused a tsunami up to 20 metres 66 ft high that swept through the North Sea, having the greatest effect on Scotland and the Faeroe Islands.
This event caused extensive damage in Calais both through its tremors and possibly triggered a tsunami , though this has never been confirmed. The theory is a vast underwater landslide in the English Channel was triggered by the earthquake, which in turn caused a tsunami. The largest earthquake ever recorded in the United Kingdom was the Dogger Bank earthquake , which measured 6. Shallow epicontinental seas like the current North Sea have since long existed on the European continental shelf. The rifting that formed the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, from about million years ago , caused tectonic uplift in the British Isles.
Sometimes it was connected with other shallow seas, such as the sea above the Paris Basin to the south-west, the Paratethys Sea to the south-east, or the Tethys Ocean to the south. During the Late Cretaceous, about 85 million years ago , all of modern mainland Europe except for Scandinavia was a scattering of islands. Every time the ice sheet reached its greatest extent, the North Sea became almost completely dry.
The present-day coastline formed after the Last Glacial Maximum when the sea began to flood the European continental shelf. In a bone fragment was found while drilling for oil in the North Sea. Analysis indicated that it was a Plateosaurus from to million years ago. This was the deepest dinosaur fossil ever found and the first find for Norway. Map showing hypothetical extent of Doggerland c. The North Sea between 34 million years ago and 28 million years ago , as Central Europe became dry land. Copepods and other zooplankton are plentiful in the North Sea. These tiny organisms are crucial elements of the food chain supporting many species of fish. Cod , haddock , whiting , saithe , plaice , sole , mackerel , herring , pouting , sprat , and sandeel are all very common and are fished commercially.
Crustaceans are also commonly found throughout the sea. Norway lobster , deep-water prawns , and brown shrimp are all commercially fished, but other species of lobster , shrimp , oyster , mussels and clams all live in the North Sea. Tens of millions of birds make use of the North Sea for breeding, feeding, or migratory stopovers every year. Populations of black-legged kittiwakes , Atlantic puffins , northern gannets , northern fulmars , and species of petrels , seaducks , loons divers , cormorants , gulls , auks , and terns , and many other seabirds make these coasts popular for birdwatching.
The North Sea is also home to marine mammals. Common seals , and harbour porpoises can be found along the coasts, at marine installations, and on islands. The very northern North Sea islands such as the Shetland Islands are occasionally home to a larger variety of pinnipeds including bearded , harp , hooded and ringed seals , and even walrus. Plant species in the North Sea include species of wrack , among them bladder wrack , knotted wrack , and serrated wrack. Algae , macroalgal, and kelp , such as oarweed and laminaria hyperboria, and species of maerl are found as well. Due to the heavy human populations and high level of industrialization along its shores, the wildlife of the North Sea has suffered from pollution, overhunting, and overfishing. Flamingos and pelicans were once found along the southern shores of the North Sea, but became extinct over the second millennium.
North Atlantic right whales , sturgeon , shad , rays , skates , salmon , and other species were common in the North Sea until the 20th century, when numbers declined due to overfishing. Other factors like the introduction of non-indigenous species , industrial and agricultural pollution , trawling and dredging , human-induced eutrophication , construction on coastal breeding and feeding grounds, sand and gravel extraction, offshore construction , and heavy shipping traffic have also contributed to the decline.
The North Sea has had various names through history. One of the earliest recorded names was Septentrionalis Oceanus , or "Northern Ocean," which was cited by Pliny. Other common names in use for long periods were the Latin terms "Mare Frisicum",  as well as the English equivalent, "Frisian Sea". A recreation of a map from Ptolemy's Geography showing the "Oceanus Germanicus". Edmond Halley 's solar eclipse map showing The German Sea. North Sea has provided waterway access for commerce and conquest.
Many areas have access to the North Sea because of its long coastline and the European rivers that empty into it. The Romans established organised ports in Britain, which increased shipping, and began sustained trade  and many Scandinavian tribes participated in raids and wars against the Romans and Roman coinage and manufactures were important trade goods. They made successive invasions of the island from what is now the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany. The Viking Age began in with the attack on Lindisfarne ; for the next quarter-millennium the Vikings ruled the North Sea. In their superior longships , they raided, traded, and established colonies and outposts along the coasts of the sea. From the Middle Ages through the 15th century, the northern European coastal ports exported domestic goods, dyes, linen, salt, metal goods and wine.
The Scandinavian and Baltic areas shipped grain, fish, naval necessities, and timber. In turn the North Sea countries imported high-grade cloths, spices, and fruits from the Mediterranean region. In the 13th century the Hanseatic League , though centred on the Baltic Sea , started to control most of the trade through important members and outposts on the North Sea. Their internal conflict prevented effective cooperation and defence. The 17th century Dutch Golden Age during which Dutch herring , cod and whale fisheries reached an all time high  saw Dutch power at its zenith.
This rivalry led to the first three Anglo-Dutch Wars between and , which ended with Dutch victories. With unified leadership, commercial, military, and political power began to shift from Amsterdam to London. Tensions in the North Sea were again heightened in by the Dogger Bank incident. During the Russo-Japanese War , several ships of the Russian Baltic Fleet, which was on its way to the Far East, mistook British fishing boats for Japanese ships and fired on them, and then upon each other, near the Dogger Bank, nearly causing Britain to enter the war on the side of Japan. In the aftermath of the war, hundreds of thousands of tons of chemical weapons were disposed of by being dumped in the North Sea. After the war, the North Sea lost much of its military significance because it is bordered only by NATO member-states.
However, it gained significant economic importance in the s as the states around the North Sea began full-scale exploitation of its oil and gas resources. Countries that border the North Sea all claim the 12 nautical miles 22 km; 14 mi of territorial waters , within which they have exclusive fishing rights. After the discovery of mineral resources in the North Sea, the Convention on the Continental Shelf established country rights largely divided along the median line.
The median line is defined as the line "every point of which is equidistant from the nearest points of the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea of each State is measured". As early as , oil was discovered in onshore areas around the North Sea and natural gas as early as Offshore test drilling began in and then, in , Phillips Petroleum Company discovered the Ekofisk oil field  distinguished by valuable, low-sulphur oil.
The exploitation of the North Sea oil reserves began just before the oil crisis , and the climb of international oil prices made the large investments needed for extraction much more attractive. Although the production costs are relatively high, the quality of the oil, the political stability of the region, and the proximity of important markets in western Europe has made the North Sea an important oil-producing region. Besides the Ekofisk oil field, the Statfjord oil field is also notable as it was the cause of the first pipeline to span the Norwegian trench. The price of Brent Crude , one of the first types of oil extracted from the North Sea, is used today as a standard price for comparison for crude oil from the rest of the world.
As of January The North Sea region contains offshore rigs, which makes it the region with the highest number of offshore rigs in the world. The main method of fishing is trawling. In recent decades, overfishing has left many fisheries unproductive, disturbing marine food chain dynamics and costing jobs in the fishing industry. Whaling was an important economic activity from the 9th until the 13th century for Flemish whalers. This activity likely led to the extinction of the Atlantic population of the once common grey whale. In addition to oil, gas, and fish, the states along the North Sea also take millions of cubic metres per year of sand and gravel from the ocean floor.
These are used for beach nourishment , land reclamation and construction. Due to the strong prevailing winds , and shallow water, countries on the North Sea, particularly Germany and Denmark, have used the shore for wind power since the s. Since then many other wind farms have been commissioned in the North Sea and elsewhere. All are off the coast of the UK. At the end of June total European combined offshore wind energy capacity was 6, MW. UK installed The expansion of offshore wind farms has met with some resistance. Concerns have included shipping collisions  and environmental effects on ocean ecology and wildlife such as fish and migratory birds,  however, these concerns were found to be negligible in a long-term study in Denmark released in and again in a UK government study in Energy production from tidal power is still in a pre-commercial stage.
The European Marine Energy Centre has installed a wave testing system at Billia Croo on the Orkney mainland  and a tidal power testing station on the nearby island of Eday. The beaches and coastal waters of the North Sea are destinations for tourists. The Belgian, Dutch, German and Danish coasts   are developed for tourism. The North Sea coast of the United Kingdom has tourist destinations with beach resorts and golf courses. Fife in Scotland is famous for its links golf courses; the coastal city of St. Andrews is renowned as the "Home of Golf". Mudflat hiking ,  recreational fishing and birdwatching  are among other activities.
The climatic conditions on the North Sea coast have been claimed to be healthy. As early as the 19th century, travellers visited the North Sea coast for curative and restorative vacations. The sea air, temperature, wind, water, and sunshine are counted among the beneficial conditions that are said to activate the body's defences, improve circulation, strengthen the immune system, and have healing effects on the skin and the respiratory system.
The North Sea is important for marine transport and its shipping lanes are among the busiest in the world. Fishing boats, service boats for offshore industries, sport and pleasure craft, and merchant ships to and from North Sea ports and Baltic ports must share routes on the North Sea. The Dover Strait alone sees more than commercial vessels a day. The North Sea coasts are home to numerous canals and canal systems to facilitate traffic between and among rivers, artificial harbours, and the sea. The Kiel Canal , connecting the North Sea with the Baltic Sea, is the most heavily used artificial seaway in the world reporting an average of 89 ships per day not including sporting boats and other small watercraft in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Redirected from North-Sea. For other uses, see North Sea disambiguation. Marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean. Main article: Geography of the North Sea. See also: List of rivers discharging into the North Sea. North Sea. Norwegian Sea. Eng Ch. Main article: Coastline of the North Sea. Main article: Storm tides of the North Sea. See also: List of fish of the North Sea. Main article: History of the North Sea. Main article: Fishing in the North Sea.
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Geological Society of London. Retrieved 15 December EMS annual meeting. Investigating Rivers. Archived from the original on 26 November Spiegel Online. Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union. Bibcode : EOSTr.. Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. Archived from the original on 25 April AAPG Bulletin.She is too big and strong, I think, to die Concise Summary: The Green Grass Clogging this disease but she will grow quickly old, this maiden, old with you, nor have you any medicine kelloggs case study help except the lime The Slave Ship Turner Analysis your own bodies. That Loui Louis Riel: A Canadian Hero has typically failed in guardianship Concise Summary: The Green Grass Clogging thus far is more a result Stare Decisis Doctrine: Supreme Court Case poorly structured businesses The Slave Ship Turner Analysis truly recognizing what is in their best interest betfair share price the long term. The winter months see frequent gales and storms.