Arctic Seas

List of the Five Seas Bordering the Arctic Ocean

Arctic Ocean
The Arctic Ocean. CIA World FactBook

The Arctic Ocean is the smallest of the world's five oceans with an area of 5,427,000 square miles (14,056,000 sq km). It has an average depth of 3,953 feet (1,205 m) and its deepest point is the Fram Basin at -15,305 feet (-4,665 m). The area of the Arctic Ocean is within the areas between Europe, Asia and North America. In addition, most of its waters of the Arctic Ocean are north of the Arctic Circle.

Throughout most of the year, much of the Arctic Ocean is covered by a drifting polar icepack that is an average of ten feet (three meters) thick. This icepack normally melts during the summer months, which is being extended due to climate change.

The Arctic Ocean is similar to the world's other oceans because it shares borders with both continents and marginal seas. A marginal sea is an area of water that is a "partially enclosed sea adjacent to or widely open to the open ocean" ( The Arctic Ocean shares borders with five marginal seas. The following is a list of those seas arranged by area. All figures were obtained from the Encyclopedia Britannica.

1) Barents Sea
Area: 542,473 square miles (1,405,000 sq km)

2) Kara Sea
Area: 339,770 square miles (880,000 sq km)

3) Laptev Sea
Area: 276,000 square miles (714,837 sq km)

4) Chukchi Sea
Area: 224,711 square miles (582,000 sq km)

5) Beaufort Sea
Area: 183,784 square miles (476,000 sq km)

6) Wandel Sea

Area: 22,007 square miles (57,000 sq km)

7) Lincon Sea

Area: Unknown

Reference (n.d.). Oceans and Seas - Retrieved from: (8 August 2011). Arctic Ocean - Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from:

(26 August June 2011). Marginal Sea - Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from: