Like this study set? Create a free account to save it.

Sign up for an account

Already have a Quizlet account? .

Create an account

In an atom, the nucleus is composed of _____________ and _____________, and the ____________ orbit very quickly around the nucleus.

protons; neutrons; electrons

What accounts for all the unique properties of water?

Its unique geometry causes the water molecule to have a resulting electrical polarity.

Which type of bond holds adjacent water molecules together?

hydrogen bond

Each hydrogen atom shares its single electron with electrons in the oxygen atom. Which type of bond is this?

covalent bond

The fact that ice is less dense than water—which causes ice to float—is due to

the molecular packing of bulky ice crystals

In the open ocean, average seawater salinity is ___________.


Most processes that affect the ocean's salinity occur ___________.

at the ocean surface

The Red Sea has ____________ water because of large amounts of ______________.

hypersaline; evaporation

The Baltic Sea has ____________ because of ______________.

brackish water; large amounts of runoff

Where is the salinity of ocean surface waters HIGHEST?

about 25 degrees north or south of the equator

There is no pycnocline in _______ latitude regions because _____________.

high-; the water column is uniformly cold and dense

In water vapor, there is no interconnectedness of individual water molecules (no hydrogen bonds).


Latent heat can be absorbed or released only as water undergoes the process of changing state (e.g., as water changes from a liquid to a solid).


The heat capacity of water is lower than that of most other substances.


In the high latitudes, there is a prominent and well-developed thermocline.


Which of the following INCREASES the salinity of seawater?

evaporation of seawater

Which of the following terms describes a rapid change in salinity with depth?


The density of seawater increases with ________ in temperature and ________ in salinity.

a decrease; an increase

A layer of rapid change of ocean density with depth is called a ___________.


The process of purifying seawater by removing most of its dissolved substances is called ___________.


What is the primary reason that Earth has seasons?

Earth's rotational axis is tilted.

The tilt of Earth's axis of rotation with respect to the ecliptic is ______________.

23.5 degrees

The "midnight Sun" is a phenomenon observed in Northern Hemisphere polar regions only when the Sun is directly above _______________.

the Tropic of Cancer

At the time of the vernal equinox, the Sun is directly overhead at ______________.

the equator

Globally, air descends (sinks toward the surface) at ______________.

30 degrees latitude and 90 degrees latitude (the poles)

Areas of high atmospheric pressure (at Earth's surface) generally experience what kind of conditions?

sinking air, with dry, clear weather

Legend holds that the "horse latitudes" derived their name from sailors who, in desperation, abandoned horses overboard because the sailors were

stuck at the boundary between the trades and the westerlies.

Rising warm air is associated with regions of ________ atmospheric pressure caused by thermal ________.

low; expansion

Which of the following statements about the Coriolis effect is FALSE?

The Coriolis effect tends to increase or decrease the speed of moving objects.

A moving object traveling northward in the Northern Hemisphere is deflected toward

the east

A land breeze flows from land to sea.


Air typically moves from regions of high atmospheric pressure toward regions of low atmospheric pressure.


The major wind belts of the world are generated by the lowermost portion of Earth's atmospheric circulation cells.


The surface winds of an anticyclone in the Southern Hemisphere rotate counterclockwise.


Hurricanes are associated with __________ atmospheric pressure and spin ______________ in the Northern Hemisphere.

low; counterclockwise

Ninety percent of people who die in hurricanes are killed by _____________.

storm surge

Sea ice forms by seawater freezing; icebergs form _____________.

when glacial ice on land falls off into the ocean

What is the most abundant gas in the atmosphere?


For an equal quantity of solar radiation hitting all parts of Earth, the "solar footprint" is larger at the equator than it is in high latitudes.


Going from the equator to the North Pole, what are the names of the wind belts you would cross?

the trade winds, the prevailing westerlies, the polar easterlies

Surface ocean currents are caused by ______________, whereas deep currents are the result of ________________.

surface wind belts; density differences

In relation to ocean circulation, a gyre is ________________.

a large, circular-moving loop of surface water

A geostrophic current is one that (ideally) flows _______________.

in a circular path around the central "hill" of a gyre

Ekman transport is an average path of motion that, under ideal conditions, is at ______________ to the wind's direction.

90 degrees

Western intensification is _______________.

caused by the rotational center of a gyre being located to the west of the ocean basin's geographic center, thus causing more water to flow within a narrower "channel."

In subtropical gyres, western boundary currents have all of the following characteristics EXCEPT _______________.

they are relatively wide

What is one of the first indications that an El Niño event may be occurring?

Warm water from near Australia migrates toward South America.

Which of the following statements about El Niño events is FALSE?

Fishing along Peru and Ecuador is much better.

The atmospheric circulation cell in the equatorial South Pacific created by the movement of air between high- and low-pressure regions is called the

Walker cell

Thermohaline flow is a term that describes _______________.

deep-ocean current movement

The ocean's deep water is initially formed at the ____________ and in __________ regions.

surface; subpolar

Subtropical gyres flow counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.


Vertical mixing of surface and deep seawater takes place in the low latitudes.


The East Australian Current is the western boundary current of the South Pacific subtropical gyre.


Which of the following is an example of a western boundary current of a subtropical gyre?

the Kuroshio Current

Which of the following currents does NOT belong with the others as part of the same gyre?

the Agulhas Current

The California Current is a ________ current that flows ________.

cold; south

The Gulf Stream is a ________ current that flows ________.

warm; north

The Peru Current is a ________ current that flows ________.

cold; north

The East Australian Current is a ________ current that flows ________.

warm; south

Most ocean waves are caused by ____________.

the wind

Which of the following statements about the physical characteristics of waves is FALSE?

The depth at which orbital motion ceases is called the still water level.

Circular orbital motion in waves becomes negligible (dies out) at depths greater than ____________.

half the wave's wavelength

In deep water, a wave with a wavelength of 60 meters and a wave height of 6 meters will have orbital motion down to a depth of ___________.

30 meters

Which of the following is NOT a physical change that a wave experiences as the wave reaches shallow water?

The wavelength increases.

The type of breaker that is best for surfing is called a _____________ breaker.


Which of the following statements about orthogonals is FALSE?

Orthogonals are the same thing as the wave crests.

What is wave refraction?

the bending of waves as they approach a coastline

Of the following factors, all increase the amount of energy in waves EXCEPT ____________.

increasing water vapor content in the air

Waves always travel in the same direction as the prevailing current, even far offshore.


Internal waves are usually found in areas where there is a strong, permanent pycnocline.


In shallow-water waves, wave speed increases with increased water depth; in deep-water waves, wave speed increases with increased wavelength.


Rogue waves are often caused by constructive wave interference.


Internal waves can sometimes exceed heights of 100 meters (330 feet) and can carry submerged objects to great depths.


The superposition, or overlapping, of two waves always results in destructive interference between the different waves.


When a tsunami reaches a coastal area, it is always represented by a single rapid surge of water toward the shore, resembling a suddenly occurring high tide (which is why they are misnamed "tidal waves").


Which of the following statements about swell is FALSE?

Swell must have large wave height.

Which of the following statements about the movement of waves in a wave train is FALSE?

Waves pick up speed as they move out of the "sea" area where they are generated.

In which ocean do most tsunami occur?

Pacific Ocean

If a tsunami were generated near the Hawaiian Islands, how long would it take for the tsunami to travel the 3500 kilometers of open ocean to the West Coast of the United States?

about 5 hours

Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.

Having trouble? Click here for help.

We can’t access your microphone!

Click the icon above to update your browser permissions and try again


Reload the page to try again!


Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom

Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom

It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.

Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.

For more help, see our troubleshooting page.

Your microphone is muted

For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.

Star this term

You can study starred terms together

Voice Recording