An Introduction to Oceanograph y Sections: 1. The Motion in the Ocean: Waves, Tides, and Currents 2. What is Seawater?
3. Ocean Basics: Pressure, Density, Temperature, and Acoustics 4. Oceanic Regions: The Open Ocean, Benthic Ocean, and Sea floor Zones 5. Ocean Topography: Basins, Plains, Shelves, Ridges and Oh My!
The Motion in the Ocean Earths rotation, weather, and gravity all act on the planets waters, creating currents, waves, and tides which keep our oceans constantly in motion. Currents move massive
amounts of water great distances. They flow in large rotating loops called gyres. Some of the most The Motion in the Ocean: Currents Gyres spin clockwise in the northern hemisphere, and counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere.
Earths rotation, combined with the unequal heating of the planet by the sun create winds (and surface currents) that blow year round. This phenomenon is called the Coriolis Effect The Motion in the Ocean: Costal Currents When waves strike the beach at different angles,
they create potentially dangerous events called longshore currents and rip tides. Upwelling occurs when strong winds blow surface waters away from the shore, which is then replaced by rising cold water rich in
nutrients. What is Seawater? The Salt in seawater is actually composed of 11 different dissolved ions. The 2 primary ones being sodium (Na+) and Chloride (Cl-). Others include: Sulphate
(SO42), Magnesium (Mg2+), Calcium (Ca2+), Potassium (K+), Bicarbonate (HCO3-) Bromide (Br-), and other trace elements to make up 3.5% of the oceans total mass. What is Seawater? A number of dissolved
minerals and compounds in seawater are essential the survival of the microscopic organisms (phyto and zooplankton) which drive virtually all oceanic ecosystems. Additionally, dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2) in the ocean
plays an essential role in maintaining a stable pH (slightly basic) for its Ocean Basics: Pressure Atmospheric pressure at sea level is 14.7 PSI (pounds per square inch). Since water is much heavier than air, its
pressure increases dramatically as we go deeper. Every 33 feet, we add another atmosphere (14.7 PSI). For example at 99 feet, the pressure is 58.8 PSI. Challenge Question!
What happened to this Styrofoam cup? What is going on in this picture? Explain. Ocean Basics: Density Ocean water separates
into layers based on density (Mass/volume) and temperature. 3 major oceanic layers include: The Surface Mixed Zone, the Transition Zone, and the Deep Zone.
Ocean Basics: Temperature Generally speaking, in any body of water, as depth increases, temperature decreases. The Sun heats surface layers while wind and waves mix this layer up from top to bottom, Surface water temperature
waters primarily with latitude. The polar seas (high latitude) can be as cold as -2 degrees Celsius, while equatorial latitudes can be as warm as 36 Ocean Basics: Acoustics Although humans cannot hear the highest and lowest
Water is an amazing frequencies, the Ocean is a conductor of sound, where it noisy place! travels much faster and further than on land. Many animals communicate and find prey using echolocation, in which clicks
and whistles are used to bounce sound of off objects. The direction and strength of the echo helps the animal determine its location. Whats with Waves?
Although wind is the primary source of surface waves, everything from earthquakes to ships and animals can cause them. Waves dont just occur on the ocean surface, but are generated from various sources throughout the
ocean at all depths. Anatomy of a Wave The Tides High tides and Low tides result from the moons gravitational pull on the Earths waters. As Earth rotates, the moons gravity pulls water toward the point on Earths surface closest to the
moon. The Tide Cycle Every 12.5 hours, every location on earth experiences a high tide and a low tide as the Earth rotates on its axis.
Thousands of tidal organisms rely on this cycle to sustain life. Spring and Neap Tides When the moon and Sun are in alignment (during a new or full moon), their combined gravitational
forces result in a Spring Tide. When Spring tides occur, high tides and low tides are extremely pronounced. Neap Tides When the moon is at a
right angle to the sun, the gravitational forces are not combined, and a Neap tide results. This arrangement results in the least difference between high and low tides.
Ocean Regions: The Littoral Zone The part of the ocean closest to the shore (within 600 meters) is called the Littoral zone. The littoral zone is subdivided into the: supralittoral or spray zone intertidal (area between high and
low tides) sublittoral (extends from the low tide line out to about 200 meters). Ocean Regions: The Neritic Zone Most of the life in our oceans is found in the Neritic Zone, the first 200 meters below the surface.
This includes the seashore and most of the continental shelf. Ocean Regions: Pelagic and Benthic Environments The Pelagic, or open ocean, is divided into a number of different regions based on
depth. The Benthic, or deep ocean, includes the sea floor. Many fantastic and unique creatures thrive in these deep ocean environments. Ocean Topography Have you ever wondered
how the ocean would look without all that water? With mountains, plains, valleys, and many other fantastic features, the ocean is as varied and irregular as the land we can see.
Ocean Topography: The Continental Shelf Surrounding virtually all continents lies a shallow extension of that landmass known as the continental shelf. Sediment from the erosion of land surfaces is constantly washed into the sea, nourishing
microscopic plants and animals here. For this reason, continental shelf regions also contain the highest amount of benthic life (plants and animals that live on the ocean floor). Ocean Topography: The Continental
Slope and Rise The continental Shelf eventually gives way and sharply drops off into a steep continental slope. The Continental Slope usually begins at about 130 meters deep and can by up to 20 Km wide.
The continental rise lies adjacent, and transitions into the deep ocean basin. Ocean Topography: The Deep Ocean basin The Deep Ocean Basin covers over 30% of the Earths surface and has 3
characteristic features: abyssal plains, deep-sea trenches, and seamounts. The abyssal plain is the flat, deep ocean floor. It is almost featureless because a thick layer of sediment covers the hills and valleys of the ocean floor below it.
Ocean Topography: Trenches and Seamounts Deep-sea trenches are the deepest parts of the ocean. The deepest one, the Marianas Trench in the South Pacific Ocean, is more than 35,000 feet or almost 6.6 miles deep!
A seamount is a mountain rising from the ocean floor that does not reach the surface (sea level), and therefore is not an island. These are typically formed from underwater volcanoes. Ocean Topography:
Mid-Ocean Ridges The mid-ocean ridge is essentially two chains of mountains separated by a large depression (or rift valley) which form at a spreading center (see plate tectonics). These mountain ranges can
have peaks as high as 12,000 feet, and some even reach above the ocean's surface. Iceland, along the mid-Atlantic Ridge, is prime example.
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