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Which is larger the mediterranean or the north sea?
Mediterranean Sea, an intercontinental sea that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean on the west to Asia on the east and separates Europe from Africa. It has often been called the incubator of Western civilization. This ancient “sea between the lands” occupies a deep, elongated, and almost landlocked irregular depression lying between latitudes 30° and 46° N and longitudes 5°50′ W and 36° E. Its west-east extent—from the Strait of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco to the shores of the Gulf of Iskenderun on the southwestern coast of Turkey—is approximately 2,500 miles (4,000 km), and its average north-south extent, between Croatia’s southernmost shores and Libya, is about 500 miles (800 km). The Mediterranean Sea, including the Sea of Marmara, occupies an area of approximately 970,000 square miles (2,510,000 square km).
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The western extremity of the Mediterranean Sea connects with the Atlantic Ocean by the narrow and shallow channel of the Strait of Gibraltar, which is roughly 8 miles (13 km) wide at its narrowest point; and the depth of the sill, or submarine ridge separating the Atlantic from the Alborán Sea, is about 1,050 feet (320 metres). To the northeast the Mediterranean is connected with the Black Sea through the Dardanelles (with a sill depth of 230 feet [70 metres]), the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Bosporus (sill depth of about 300 feet [90 metres]). To the southeast it is connected with the Red Sea by the Suez Canal.
Until the 1960s the Mediterranean was thought to be the main existing remnant of the Tethys Sea, which formerly girdled the Eastern Hemisphere. Studies employing the theory of seafloor spreading that have been undertaken since the late 20th century, however, have suggested that the present Mediterranean seafloor is not part of the older (200 million years) Tethys floor. The structure and present form of this tectonically active basin and its bordering mountain system have been determined by the convergence and recession of the relatively stable continental plates of Eurasia and Africa during the past 44 million years. The interpretation of geologic data suggests that there are, at present, multiple main areas of collision between Africa and Eurasia, resulting in volcanism, mountain building, and land submergence.
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