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ETOPO1 Global Relief Model

Volumes of the World's Oceans from ETOPO1


NCEI has calculated the volumes of Earth's oceans (Table 1) using the ETOPO1 Ice Surface global relief model. ETOPO1 is a 1 arc-minute digital representation of Earth's solid surface that integrates land topography and ocean bathymetry from numerous global and regional data sets.

Table 1. Volumes of the World's Oceans from ETOPO1

Download Table 1 as a .PDF

% Ocean
% Ocean
Avg. Depth
Max Depth
Arctic Ocean15,558,0004.318,750,0001.412055567
Atlantic Ocean85,133,00023.5310,410,90023.336468486
Baltic Sea406,0000.120,9000.051392
North Atlantic41,490,00011.5146,000,00010.935198486
South Atlantic40,270,00011.1160,000,00012.039738240
Indian Ocean70,560,00019.5264,000,00019.837417906
Pacific Ocean161,760,00044.7660,000,00049.4408010,803
North Pacific77,010,00021.3331,000,00024.8429810,803#
South Pacific84,750,00023.4329,000,00024.6388210,753
South China Sea6,963,0001.99,880,0000.714197352
Southern Ocean*21,960,0006.171,800,0005.432707075
error estimates0.10%1% 
+ Boundaries between oceans vary depending upon agency, making comparisons with other published estimates difficult.
¤ Total surface area of Earth is 510,082,000 sq. km. The oceans cover ~70.9%.
* Southern Ocean area and volume calculated from ETOPO1 Bedrock version (includes Weddell and Ross seas without ice cover).
# Deepest ocean depth is in the Marianas Trench, measured at 10,911 meters. Maximum depths from ETOPO1 are not expected to exactly match known measured maximum depths as ETOPO1 represents average depths over ~4 sq. km areas.

Ocean Boundaries

Ocean boundaries were modified from 'The Limits of Oceans and Seas' [IHO Special Publication 23, 1953] to include only major oceans and marginal seas and to include the Southern Ocean south of 60°S.

global histogram

Figure 1: Ocean boundaries used to calculate volumes

Volume Calculation

Volumes were calculated for each ocean grid cell in ETOPO1 using Equation 1 to determine cell area, and Equation 2 to determine cell volume. Cell areas and volumes were then summed over each ocean or marginal sea.

dA = a2 cos(ø) (1-e2) dø dl / (1-e2 sin2ø)2Equation 1
dV = dA * depthEquation 2

Latitude (ø)= latitude of cell's center (in radians)
Unit of Latitude (dø)= 1 arc-minute (2.908882 x10-4 radians)
Unit of Longitude (dl)= 1 arc-minute (2.908882 x10-4 radians)

The WGS84 spheroid was used for values of Earth's radius and eccentricity:
Equatorial radius (a)= 6378.137 km
Eccentricity (e)= 0.08181919

How to Cite These Data:

Eakins, B.W. and G.F. Sharman, Volumes of the World's Oceans from ETOPO1, NOAA National Geophysical Data Center, Boulder, CO, 2010.


Amante, C. and B. W. Eakins, ETOPO1 1 Arc-Minute Global Relief Model: Procedures, Data Sources and Analysis. NOAA Technical Memorandum NESDIS NGDC-24, 19 pp, March 2009. []

CIA, The World Factbook, Dec 2009. []

International Hydrographic Organization, The Limits of Oceans and Seas, Special Publication 23, 3rd Edition, Monte Carlo, 1953. []

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