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Marine Places

The Caribbean Sea

The Caribbean Sea is a tropical body of water bounded to its south and west by South and Central America, and to its north and east by the Greater and Lesser Antilles. Most of the Antilles, and some parts of the mainland coast, are fringed with coral reefs and small, low-lying islets called cays (or keys).

The underlying Caribbean Plate was once part of the Pacific Ocean floor, and it is still moving slowly eastward between the North and South American plates. A subduction zone separates the Caribbean Plate from the Atlantic Plate to the east, giving rise to the volcanic island arc of the Lesser Antilles.

An east-to-west surface current permeates the whole of the Caribbean, with water from the Guiana Current flowing in via gaps between the small islands in the east, and flowing out in to the Gulf of Mexico via the Yucat√°n Channel in the northwest. in the northwest.

Soufriere volcano on Montserratzoom image
  • Area 1.06 million square miles(2.75 million square km)
  • Maximum Depth 25,215 ft (7,685 m)
  • Inflows Atlantic Ocean, Magdalena River