The area of seabed around a large landmass where the sea is relatively shallow compared with the open ocean. The continental shelf is geologically part of the continental crust.
- We live on a small island that stands on the continental shelf, a shallow area of seabed that joins Britain to mainland Europe.
- The continental shelf is a relatively shallow area of seabed over which a great deal of marine life is found.
- The continental slope connects the continental shelf and the oceanic crust.
For editors and proofreaders
Syllabification: con·ti·nen·tal shelf
Definition of continental shelf in:
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.