Sea of Okhotsk
Riser, Stephen C. School of Oceanography, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
Last reviewed:December 2019
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A semienclosed basin adjacent to the North Pacific Ocean, bounded on the north, east and west by continental Russia, the Kamchatka Peninsula and northern Japan (see illustration). On its southeast side the Sea of Okhotsk is connected to the North Pacific via a number of straits and passages through the Kuril Islands. The sea covers a surface area of approximately 590,000 mi2 (1.5 million km2), or about 1% of the total area of the Pacific and has a maximum depth of over 9000 ft (3000 m). Its mean depth is about 2500 ft (830 m). Owing to the cold, wintertime Arctic winds that blow to the southeast, from Russia toward the North Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Okhotsk is partially covered with ice during the winter months, from November through April. See also: Basin; Pacific Ocean
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