Southern Ocean

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Various IHO definitions of the Southern Ocean and a rough approximation of the Antarctic Convergence.


Formally adopted by the International Hydrographic Bureau's Limits of Oceans and Seas in 1928. (Omitted from the current 3rd edition,[1] but restored in the draft 4th edition awaiting ratification.[2])

Proper noun[edit]

Southern Ocean

  1. The portion of the World Ocean surrounding Antarctica, variously taken as the waters south of the Antarctic Circle, the waters south of 60° S, or the waters bounded by the Antarctic Convergence.

Usage note[edit]

Per the terms of the 3rd edition of the Limits of Oceans and Seas currently in force, the territory of the "Antarctic or Southern Ocean" is presently divided among the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. The draft 4th edition published in 2002 calling it simply the "Southern Ocean" has not been adopted owing to other disputes, but is sometimes used as an authority for the ocean's existence.




  1. ^ International Hydrographic Organization. "Limits of Oceans and Seas (Special Publication № 23)", 3rd ed., p. 4. 1953.
  2. ^ International Hydrographic Organization. "S-23 Draft 2002", Ch. 10: "Southern Ocean and its Sub-divisions". 2002.