continental shelf
noun Date: 1892 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

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • continental shelf — n. a submerged shelf of land that begins at a continental shoreline, slopes downward gradually at an angle of about 0.1° for a variable distance, and ends at the top of a much steeper downward slope (continental slope) at an angle of about 3° to… …   English World dictionary

  • continental shelf — plural continental shelves n technical the edge of a ↑continent where it slopes down steeply to the bottom of the ocean …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • continental shelf — noun count TECHNICAL the part of the edge of a CONTINENT that slopes gradually out into the ocean and ends in a sudden steep slope in very deep water …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • continental shelf — ► NOUN ▪ an area of seabed around a large land mass where the sea is relatively shallow …   English terms dictionary

  • Continental shelf — Marine habitats Anatomy of a continental shelf off the south eastern coast of the United States Littoral zone Intertidal zone …   Wikipedia

  • continental shelf — Physical Geog. the part of a continent that is submerged in relatively shallow sea. [1940 45] * * * Broad, relatively shallow submarine platform that forms a border to a continent, typically extending from the coast to depths of 330–660 ft… …   Universalium

  • continental shelf — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms continental shelf : singular continental shelf plural continental shelves science the part of the edge of a continent that slopes gradually out into the sea and ends in a sudden steep slope in very deep water …   English dictionary

  • continental shelf — N UNCOUNT The continental shelf is the area which forms the edge of a continent, ending in a steep slope to the depths of the ocean. ...the deep water off the Continental Shelf …   English dictionary

  • continental shelf — noun the relatively shallow (up to 200 meters) seabed surrounding a continent • Hypernyms: ↑ocean floor, ↑sea floor, ↑ocean bottom, ↑seabed, ↑sea bottom, ↑Davy Jones s locker, ↑Davy Jones * * * noun, pl ⋯ shelves [c …   Useful english dictionary

  • continental shelf — Sea area extending beyond UK territorial waters sub divided and allocated to a number of Countries including certain European Union ( EU) Member States. Areas designated to the UK are called the UK Continental Shelf. HM Customs & Revenue Glossary …   Financial and business terms

  • Continental Shelf — See Outer Continental Shelf …   Ballentine's law dictionary

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