Dictionary:Continental shelf

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The zone adjacent to a continent where the ocean floor dips about 0.1° that lies between the shoreline and is less than about 200 m deep, where there generally is a marked increase in water depth (shelf break). The significantly greater slope beyond this point is called the continental slope; it terminates at an oceanic trench or where the slope again becomes more gentle (continental rise), which extends to the abyssal plain. The continental margin is the part between the shoreline and 4000 m depth.