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Arm of the Atlantic Ocean. Extending south from the Norwegian Sea between Norway and the British Isles, it connects the Skagerrak (channel between Norway and Denmark) with the English Channel. It covers an area of about 220,000 sq mi (570,000 sq km), with depths generally ranging from 120 to 300 ft (37 to 91 m). There are, however, shallower areas in the southwest with depths of less than 100 ft (30 m), as well as some deep trenches in the north and the west with depths exceeding 1,000 ft (300 m). Some parts of the sea feature excellent fishing, while others have extensive oil and natural gas deposits.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on North Sea, visit Britannica.com.