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Marine Places

Scotia Sea

The Scotia Sea is bounded by Tierra del Fuego and South Georgia to the north, the South Shetland and South Orkney islands to the south, and the South Sandwich Islands to the east.

It is swept by the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, which flows from the Pacific into the Atlantic through the Drake Passage. Part of this flow turns north along the eastern shore of South America as the cold Falklands Current. Where it meets the warm waters of the Brazil Current north of the Falkland Islands, upwelling of nutrients supports a rich fishery. The Scotia Plate is moving eastward relative to the South American and Antarctic plates. The separation of South America and Antarctica began around 100 million years ago, opening up a route for Pacific Ocean currents to flow into the young south Atlantic and Indian Ocean basins—the first step in the thermal isolation of Antarctica.

Scotia Seazoom image
  • Area 350,000 square miles (900,000 square km)
  • Maximum Depth 18,300 ft (5,576 m)
  • Inflows Southern Ocean