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Ocean separating North and South America from Europe and Africa. The second largest of the world's oceans, the Atlantic has an area of 31,830,000 sq mi (82,440,000 sq km). With its marginal seas, including the Baltic, North, Black, and Mediterranean to the east, and Baffin Bay, Hudson Bay, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea to the west, it covers some 41,100,000 sq mi (106,450,000 sq km). Including these latter bodies of water, its average depth is 10,925 ft (3,330 m); its maximum depth is 27,493 feet (8,380 m) in the Puerto Rico Trench. Its most powerful current is the Gulf Stream.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Atlantic Ocean, visit Britannica.com.