continental slope


: the comparatively steep slope from a continental shelf to the ocean floor

Examples of continental slope in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The analysis found a specific instance where dislodged methane traveled over 25 miles from the deeper parts of the continental slope up to the edge of the underwater shelf. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 6 Dec. 2023 Onshore groundwater that flows through the subsurface and offshore brings nutrients and chemicals that sustain delicate marine communities in places along the continental slope. Rob L. Evans, Scientific American, 15 June 2023 Because the shelf is a continuation of the continent, models of groundwater flow in land along the northeastern U.S. coast suggest there could be substantial amounts of fresh water hidden within the rocks and sediments below the continental slope's seafloor. Rob L. Evans, Scientific American, 15 June 2023 The team compiled 165,000 observations of brittle stars from more than 1,600 research expeditions, plotting the species distributions by coastal (0-20 m depth), continental shelf (20-200 m), upper continental slope (200-2,000 m), and deep-sea (2,000-6,500 m) seafloor zones. Jeffrey Marlow, Discover Magazine, 16 May 2016 In oceans, the benthic zone starts at the shoreline and follows the continental slope to the deepest depths. Lacy Schley, Discover Magazine, 30 Sep. 2018 This would extend the Bering Sea boundary west and south to Alaska’s Fox Islands, through Unimak Pass to the edge of the continental slope, the agency said in a statement. From Usa Today Network and Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 13 July 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'continental slope.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1900, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of continental slope was in 1900

Dictionary Entries Near continental slope

Cite this Entry

“Continental slope.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

continental slope

: a usually steep slope from a continental shelf to the ocean floor

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