Meaning of “continental shelf” in the English Dictionary

English

"continental shelf" in English

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continental shelfnoun [ C usually singular ]

uk /ˌkɒn.tɪ.nen.təl ˈʃelf/ us /ˌkɑːn.t̬ən.en.t̬əl ˈʃelf/ specialized

Examples from literature

  • If this action operated alone, the subtraction which the friction makes would cause the surf waves which roll in over a continental shelf to be very low, probably in height less than half that which they now attain. 
  • Near the coast line the effect of the waves is continually to shove the detritus up the slopes of the continental shelf. 
  • Our line of soundings showed the transition from the ocean depths to the continental shelf. 
  • The continental shelf is simply a submerged plateau surrounding all the continent, the "Big Lead" marking the northern edge of that shelf where it dips into the polar sea. 

(Definition of “continental shelf” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

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