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Part of the Arctic Ocean northeast of Alaska, northwest of Canada, and west of Banks Island in the Arctic Archipelago. Its surface area is about 184,000 sq mi (476,000 sq km), its average depth is 3,239 ft (1,004 m), and its greatest depth is 15,360 ft (4,680 m). It is frozen over almost year-round; only in August and September does the ice break up. The Mackenzie River flows into the sea; the chief settlement is Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Beaufort Sea, visit Britannica.com.