Difference Between Sea and Ocean

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 12, 2022, 5:07

Earth has about 1.36 billion tons of water, with >90% volume in oceans and seas. The Main Difference Between Sea and Ocean is that the sea represents a comparatively lesser body of open water than oceans that cover almost 70% of the earth's surface. Sea is often partially enclosed by terrestrial area and is located at the confluence of land and ocean. The Sargasso Sea on United States' eastern coast is an exception to this rule.

Some seas are completely landlocked such as the Dead Sea or the Caspian Sea. Seawater is saline except for the water of the Sea of Galilee, which is freshwater. Both sea and ocean have similar features characterized by water currents, high and low tides, and waves. The water temperature, wind direction, geography, and current-induced pressure determine the direction of waves. The sea's coastline stands for the total length of land that adjoins the seawater.

The ocean is larger than the sea in terms of the water volume and the total area covered. The ocean's depth at any point is always greater than that of the sea. These and other Differences Between Sea and Ocean characterize the existence of these large water bodies.

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Difference Between Sea and Ocean & Comparison

The attributes related to the Difference Between Sea and Ocean have been compared below.

Ocean

Sea

The ocean is a large water body of continuous nature without any border, usually.

The sea contains comparatively lesser water volume than the ocean and is usually landlocked.

Ocean's depth is much more than the sea. Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean is the deepest point on earth, with a depth of almost 11 Km.

The depth of the sea is lesser. The depth of the Caribbean Sea is maximum, with the deepest point being almost 7 Km below mean sea level.

Ocean's expanse is far more than the sea. The Pacific Ocean's net area is 60 million square miles.

The area covered by the sea is comparatively lesser. The largest sea has an area of 1.14 million square miles.

Marine life in the ocean is less due to the restricted penetration of sunlight. Whales, phytoplankton, and other animals or flora that can sustain in lesser sunlight or oxygen are found in the ocean.

Shallow seawater allows for an abundance of sunlight penetration that causes the flourishing of marine life. Animals like crabs or lobsters, which are amphibians, can also survive in seawater.

An ocean cannot exist inside another ocean.

Some seas exist within another sea. For instance, the Balearic Sea, Ligurian sea, Libyan Sea, Sicily Sea, and the Ionian Sea lie within the Mediterranean Sea.

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Final Thoughts on the Difference Between Sea and Ocean

The ocean differs from the sea in many respects. Marine life, however, flourishes in the sea better than in the ocean. This is because the sunlight cannot penetrate the ocean's greater depth, which prevents photosynthesis and lessens the oxygen supply for marine life. Oceans store 50x more carbon compared to the atmosphere. They positively influence the climate of the earth by regularly transferring heat from the equatorial region to the polar areas. Sea and ocean surfaces appear blue or aquamarine as the water absorbs the red colour of sunlight's spectrum and reflects the blue colour.

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FAQs on the Difference Between Sea and Ocean

Q1. What is the Difference Between Sea and Ocean in terms of their deepest points?

The Difference Between Sea and Ocean in terms of their deepest points is that the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean is the deepest point on earth, with a depth of almost 11 Km. The depth of the sea is lesser. The depth of the Caribbean Sea is maximum, with the deepest point being almost 7 Km below mean sea level.

Q2. What is the Difference Between Sea and Ocean in terms of examples?

The Difference Between Sea and Ocean in terms of examples is that the Pacific Ocean, with an area of 60 million square miles, is the largest ocean. The Mediterranean Sea, with a net area of 1.14 million square miles, is the largest sea.

Q3. What is a significant Difference Between Sea and Ocean?

The Significant Difference Between Sea and Ocean is that an ocean cannot exist inside another ocean. On the other hand, some seas exist within another sea. For instance, the Balearic Sea, Ligurian sea, Libyan Sea, Sicily Sea, and the Ionian Sea lie within the Mediterranean Sea.

Q4. What is the Difference Between Sea and Ocean?

The Main Difference Between Sea and Ocean is that the Area covered by the sea is lesser than that of the ocean; water volume is lesser, and the sea usually laps land areas, whereas the ocean is a continuous body of water.