continental shelf

noun

Definition of continental shelf

: a shallow submarine plain of varying width forming a border to a continent and typically ending in a comparatively steep slope to the deep ocean floor

Illustration of continental shelf

Illustration of continental shelf

continental shelf: 1 seashore, 2 continental shelf, 3 continental slope, 4 abyssal plain, 5 seamount

Examples of continental shelf in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But construction will be more difficult than in other parts of the country because the continental shelf off the coast of the Pacific plunges steeply. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 Mar. 2022 But construction will be more difficult than in other parts of the country because the continental shelf off the coast of the Pacific plunges steeply. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 Mar. 2022 There are, of course, additional oil and gas resources to be found on tribal lands, in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, and on the outer continental shelf. Paul Gessing, National Review, 4 Apr. 2022 When Noem listed off a series of energy policy changes—resume construction on the Keystone pipeline, reopen federal land for drilling, resume drilling on the continental shelf—the walls echoed with applause. Laura Jedeed, The New Republic, 26 Feb. 2022 But construction will be more difficult than in other parts of the country because the continental shelf off the coast of the Pacific plunges steeply. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 Mar. 2022 But construction will be more difficult than in other parts of the country because the continental shelf off the coast of the Pacific plunges steeply. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Feb. 2022 While European and Asian nations have relied on offshore wind power for more than a decade, the big wind farms proposed off the US continental shelf are larger and spaced further apart, meaning that ships are more likely to be operating nearby. Eric Niiler, Wired, 2 Mar. 2022 In the past, studies suggest, these close-in winds have kept colder water at the surface, preventing the warmer water from rising high enough to reach the continental shelf and the ice shelves. New York Times, 13 Dec. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'continental shelf.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of continental shelf

1892, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for continental shelf

Time Traveler

The first known use of continental shelf was in 1892

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Dictionary Entries Near continental shelf

continental seating

continental shelf

continental slope

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Statistics for continental shelf

Last Updated

11 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Continental shelf.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/continental%20shelf. Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on continental shelf

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about continental shelf

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