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

Sign up for an account

Already have a Quizlet account? .

Create an account

Studying for final ocean


the study of the earth's oceans

Continental Drift

the process by which the continents split apart from a single landmass

Sea-Floor Spreading

the process by which molten material adds new oceanic crust to the ocean floor

mid-ocean ridge

a long, undersea mountain chain that has a steep, narrow valley at its center, that forms as magma rises from the asthenosphere, and that creates new oceanic lithosphere (sea floor) as tectonic plates move apart. The Site of Sea floor spreading.


a submerged mountain on the ocean floor that is at least 1,000 meters high that has a volcanic origin


a land mass (smaller than a continent) that is surrounded by water. Remains above sea level.

Deep Sea Trench

A long, narrow deep depression in the ocean floor which typically runs parallel to a plate boundary and makes a subduction zone.

Abyssal Plains

a smooth, nearly flat region of the deep ocean floor; covered with mud/sediments.

Continental Shelf

the flat or gently sloping land that lies submerged around the edges of a continent and that extends from the shoreline out to a continental slope

Continental Slope

A relatively steep slope extending from a depth of 100 to 200 meters at the edge of the continental shelf down to oceanic depths.

the steep descent of the seabed from the continental shelf to the abyssal zone.

Steep Slope that drops down quickly into the depths of the ocean, which takes place on the edge of the continental Crust.

Features of the Ocean Floor

Mid Ocean Ridge, seamounts, islands, deep-sea trenches, abyssal plain, continental shelf, and continental slope.


The Total amount of dissolved salts in seawater. Average Ocean __________ = 35 ppt (parts per thousand)

Density differences

Ocean Layers; More dense (found on bottom). Less Dense (found on top)

Ocean Currents

the steady flow of surface ocean water in a prevailing direction

Driving force of Ocean Currents:

The Sun; Solar heating of atmosphere causes wind


huge circular moving current systems that dominate the surfaces of the oceans, formed because continents interrupt the currents' flow; rotates clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere

Causes of Ocean Tides

Cassed by Gravitational attraction between Earth, Sun, and Moon.

Driving force of Ocean Waves

The Sun; Solor heating of atmosphere causes wind, and produces waves.

Parts of a Wave

Wave Height-he vertical distance from the crest of a wave to the trough

Crest (the highest point of a wave)

Wave Length-The horizontal distance between two corresponding parts of a wave

Trough- a narrow depression


the earth science dealing with phenomena of the atmosphere (especially weather)

Layers of the Atmosphere (in Order)

I. Troposphere (Lowest layer of atmosphere; Weather occurs in Troposphere)
II. Stratosphere (includes the Ozone Layer)
III. Mesosphere
IV. Thermosphere [also includes the Ionosphere and Exosphere (atoms and molecules) . Can heat up to 1500 degrees Celsius]


Earth has seasons because because its axis is tilted as it moves around the sun.


an incorrect understanding or interpretation (I know thats not the answer to the question). Lots of people just tell themselves Earth is farther away because they choice too.

Coriolis Effect

The observed effect of the Coriolis force, especially the deflection of an object moving above the Earth, rightward in the Northern Hemisphere, and leftward in the Southern Hemisphere.

Cause of Coriolis Effect

The rotation of the Earth; as air or water is moving, the Earth is rotating underneath is so they appear to bend. Winds in the Northern Hemisphere deflects to the right, and winds in the southern hemisphere deflect to the left.

Strongest/Weakest (Coriolis Effect, Winds)

Strongest at the equator; Rotation is faster.
Weakest at the poles; Rotation is slower.

Air Masses

A huge body of air that has similar temperature, humidity, and air pressure throughout it is called an air mass.

Source Region

the location where an air mass formed its properties, usually large, flat, stagnant air, high pressure

Classification of Air Masses

Latitude of source region(affects Temperature)
Equatorial (E) -Hot
Arctic (A)- Cold
Tropic (T)- Warm
Polar (P)- Freezing cold

Underlying surface of Source Region (affects moister)
Martie or Ocean Surfaces (M)- Humid air masses
Continental or Land Surfaces (C)- Creates relatively dry air masses.

Weather Instruments

BAROMETER- measures air pressure
THERMOMETER- measures air temperature
ANEMOMETER-wind velocity
WEATHER VANE- wind direction
RAIN GAUGE-precipitation
PSYCHROMETER- relative humidity


measuring instrument for measuring temperature


an instrument that measures atmospheric pressure


An instrument used to measure wind speed.


An instrument used to measure relative humidity

Rain GaugE

an instrument for measuring the amount of precipitation/rain fall

Wind Vane

instrument used to determine the direction of the wind


Collections of particles of water or ice suspended in the air that are visible above the earth's surface

Cloud Shapes

cumulus - puffy, cotton-ball-shaped;

stratus - occur in relatively thin, stable layers, have a sheet/layered shape;

cirrus - wispy shape, tapered feather-like curls.

Cloud Height

prefixes describe height at base
cirro -high
alto- mid. level
strato -low


A nimbus cloud is a cloud that produces precipitation. Usually the precipitation reaches the ground as rain, hail or snow, however

Air Pressure

The measure of the force with which air molecules push on a surface

What Effects Air Pressure?

Temperature, Water Vapor, and Evaluation.

How does Weather get affected by Air Pressure?

High Pressure = fair or good weather.
Low Pressure = Cloudy, rainy weather.


amount of water vapor in the atmosphere/air.

Relative Humidity

the percentage of water vapor in the air compared to the maximum amount the air could hold

What can change Relative Humidity?

Increasing temperature. (If Temp goes up, relative humidity must go down)

Dew Point

the temperature at which the water vapor in the air becomes saturated and condensation begins. (Can't hold anymore water vapor beyond the limit. Remember the magical elevator)

What happens when dew point is reached?

Water comes out of the air (Cloud formation, fog).
Dew or Frost forms on the ground, depending on how cold it is.


the boundary line where air masses meet

Warm Front

When a warm body of air pushes a body of cool air sideways. Since the cool air is more dense, even though the warm air is moving sideways, some warm air will rise and condense, causing clouds and scattered showers. Warm fronts always move slower than cold fronts.

Cold Fronts

cold air moves into a region with warm air; blue triangles pointed in the direction they are moving; more steep than warm fronts; move faster (density); first sign= towering clouds; produce heavy downpours and wind

Cold Front

Cold air mass runs into a less dense warmer air mass. Causes cloud formation and potentially violent weather including thunder storms.

Warm Front

when a warm air mass overtakes a cold air mass

Stationary Front

the area in which a warm air mass and cold air mass meet, but neither of them has enough energy to push against each other; brings many days of overcast, rainy weather

Occluded Fronts

when warm air is lifted, this cold air mass collides with the advancing cold front. The warm air is thus squeezed upward between the two cold air masses.

Weather Maps

a map or chart depicting the meteorological conditions, or predictions of conditions, over a specific geographic area at a specific time.


a storm resulting from strong rising air currents

Conditions Thunderstorms need to form

Moisture, unstable air, and a Lift.


a liquid such as water in the form of very small drops, either in the air, in a substance, or on a surface

Unstable Air

Relatively warm air that rises rapidly


fronts, sea, breezes, and mountains are of lifting air to help form thunderstorms.

Thunderstorm Stages

Developing Stage
Mature Stage
Dissipating Stage


round pellets of ice larger than 5 mm in diameter. only forms inside cumulonimbus clouds during thunderstorms. forms when updrafts carry the ice pellet up and then drops it back down through several layers of cloud. every time it goes through a cold region it forms a new layer.


A sudden spark, or energy discharge, caused when electrical charges jump between parts of a cloud, between nearby clouds, or between a cloud and the ground.


a localized and violently destructive windstorm occurring over land characterized by a funnel-shaped cloud extending toward the ground

Tornado (Characteristics)

It begins as a funnel cloud with spinning columns of air that drop down from a severe thunderstorm. When they reach the ground they become tornadoes. Tornadoes are between 300 and 2,000 feet wide and travel at speeds of 20 to 45 miles per hour. They usually only last a few minutes, but their spinning winds, up to 300 miles per hour, can lift houses into the air and rip trees from the ground.

Strength Rating of Tornadoes

1. F-0 (gale) : 65-85 mph
2. F-1 (weak): 86-110 mph
3. F-2: 111-135 mph (strong)
4. F-3: 136-165 mph (Severe)
5. F-4: 166-200 mph (Devastating)
6. F-5: Over 200 mph (Incredible)


a severe tropical cyclone usually with heavy rains and winds moving a 73-136 knots (12 on the Beaufort scale)

Hurricane Characteristics

tropical storms with winds exceeding 74 mph originating over the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans near high humidity and light winds. One well known characteristic of a hurricane is it's eye, which is generally about 5 to 25 miles in diameter and in which are present calm conditions, with clear skies and light winds. Hurricanes can move rather quickly losing intensity as soon as land is encountered, but not without having created very high tides and possibly massive destruction.

Tropical Storm

A storm system of strong thunderstorms with maximum sustained winds of 39-73 miles per hour or less.

Hurricane strength rating

One (74-95 mph); Two (96-110 mph; Damage roofs and buildings); Three (111-130 mph; Can destroy structural buildings and Mobile homes, and can cause floods)
Four (131-155 mph; Bad enough floods and damage many buildings); Five (Greater the 155 mph); holly cow

El Nino

(oceanography) a warm ocean current that flows along the equator from the date line and south off the coast of Ecuador at Christmas time. it means the Little boy or Christ child in Spanish.

El Nina

A weather pattern of stong cold winds from the east cooling more of the Pacific. When this happens, heavy clouds form in the western Pacific.Means Lady Girl.

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