Pacific Ocean Continental Shelf
Our first destination for our underwater experience trip is the North American continental shelf. It's on the side of the Pacific Ocean, and even though it's underwater, it's still part of the continent. The continental shelf is made of wide, sloping plains that are covered by shallow water (200 feet). Sunlight is able to get through the waters, so many plants and animals flourish here. Even though continental shelves seem pretty big, they only make up 10% of Earth's oceans.This continental shelf formed millions of years ago when inorganic and organic materials built up at the edges of continents and the oceans. They eventually formed layers, making continental shelfs. Many continental shelfs were once dry land. About 18,000 years ago, during the most recent ice age, most of Earth's water was frozen in glaciers. Since the sea level was lower, the continental shelves were exposed. Scientists think they were about 330 feet lower than they are today.