Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

How Deep are Earth's Oceans?

Using satellite measurements, researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, have come with up with a new ocean volume figure. The study's calculation of the ocean's mean depth is 3,682.2 meters, which is 21 - 51 meters less than previous estimates. The volume of the Earth's oceans are now estimated to be 1.332 billion cubic kilometers. Advances in measurement techniques have allowed scientists to more accurately account for undersea mountains and other formations.

Learn more about this research and oceanography:

WHOI Study Calculates Volume and Depth of the World's Oceans

Sea Floor Mapping Movies (NOAA)

Mountain in the Sea Exploration: Big Fleas Have Little Fleas! (NOAA) Grades 7-8 Life Science Lesson Plan - PDF

Exploring the Inner Space of the Celebes Sea - Staying Up (NOAA) Grades 7-8 Life Science/Physical Science Lesson Plan - PDF

Deepwater Coral Expedition: Reefs Rigs, and Wrecks (NOAA) Grades 9-12 Physical Science Lesson Plan - PDF

Coral Reefs Poster (NOAA) - PDF

- Land Beneath the Sea Poster (NOAA) - PDF

Created May 27, 2010, Updated June 8, 2017