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Book Chapter

The Shelfbreak: Some Legal Aspects1

By
David A. Ross
David A. Ross
Department of Geology and Geophysics, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543
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K. O. Emery
K. O. Emery
Department of Geology and Geophysics, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543
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Published:
January 01, 1983

ABSTRACT

Conferences on Law of the Sea have had the objective of increasing the area of ocean floor subject to control by adjacent coastal countries. These extensions of jurisdiction have paid little attention to carefully defined and relatively easily identified geological boundaries such as the shelfbreak. Indeed, a geological term often is used in a legal sense that far exceeds the geological meaning, resulting in unnecessary confusion. The recently concluded Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea adds an area of the ocean subject to national control equal to that of the land area of the world. Certain aspects of the remaining area of deep-ocean floor, such as mining, will also be controlled and taxed by an international authority. It is possible future oceanographers may have little opportunity for research without permission and regulation by governments of either coastal nations or the United Nations. One result could be increased research and knowledge of the ocean floor that is under the jurisdiction of industrialized countries and decreased effort in the rest of the ocean.

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Contents

SEPM Special Publication

The Shelfbreak: Critical Interface on Continental Margins

Daniel Jean Stanley
Daniel Jean Stanley
Division of Sedimentology Smithsonian Institution
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George T. Moore
George T. Moore
Chevron Oil Field Research Company La Habra California
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
33
ISBN electronic:
9781565761636
Publication date:
January 01, 1983

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