Atlantic pilot whales are distributed both in coastal waters and in deep waters off the continental shelf.
The continental shelf of this portion of the shore of the Pacific is narrow.
Some individuals, especially the larger animals, are found as far offshore as the edge of the continental shelf.
This is the broadest portion of the continental shelf now known on the Atlantic border of the continent.
The varying width of the continental shelf is due to several causes.
Throughout its entire extent, however, the continental shelf abounds in both plant and animal life.
To the right, it came up over the continental shelf to the Highlands of the United States.
In this and in similar cases the progress of the estuary is indicated upon what is now the continental shelf.
Some Atlantic bottlenosed dolphins are distributed well offshore as far as the edge of the continental shelf.
On the ocean side the continental shelf is extremely narrow.
|continental shelf |
The part of the edge of a continent between the shoreline and the continental slope. It is covered by shallow ocean waters and has a very gentle slope.
The region adjoining the coastline of a continent, where the ocean is no more than a few hundred feet deep. The shelf is built up from sediments washed down to the sea by rivers.
Note: The continental shelves are often valuable because of the mineral resources and abundant marine life found there. (See offshore drilling.)