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Definition of "continental shelf" []

  • A submerged border of a continent that slopes gradually and extends to a point of steeper descent to the ocean bottom. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "continental shelf" in a sentence
  • "The sea gap between Bali and Lombok is narrow but deep, because Lombok lies just off the continental shelf while Bali, so close, lies just on the shelf’s southeast edge."
  • "This, along with small areas of extended continental shelf between Norfolk Island and New Caledonia and between Heard and Kerguelen Islands, as well as those marine areas adjacent to the Australian Antarctic Territory, are the final frontiers for Australian maritime delimitation."