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Chapter 2: The Oceans Study Guide - Key Points
Exploring the Ocean Wave Action Currents and Climate Ocean Habitats The Mariana Trench Jacques Cousteau
Terms in this set (22)
How do conditions vary in Earth's Oceans?
The water in Earth oceans varies in salinity, temperature and depth.
Explain how salinity changes in Earth's oceans.
The salinity in Earth's oceans changes because of different events occurring in the Water Cycle. When water evaporates, salinity is greater because the salt is left behind when the water evaporates. But, salinity decreases when fresh water is added to the ocean like from melting ice, rain and snow.
Explain the different effects of salinity between Ocean Water and Fresh Water.
Fresh Water freezes at 0°C but Ocean Water freezes at a lower temperature (-1.9°C) because the salts keeps salt from forming.
Ocean Water has a higher density than Fresh Water, which allows it to have a higher buoyancy (objects can float on it more easily).
What are the three temperature zones in Earth's oceans?
Define 'Water Pressure'.
Water Pressure is the force exerted by the weight of water. The lower you travel down in the ocean, the greater the pressure.
Why does the temperature decrease as you descend further down into the ocean?
The temperature decreases in ocean waters as you descend because there is less light to provide energy (warmth).
Explain how sonar was/is used to map Earth's ocean floors.
Sonar uses sound waves to calculate the distance from the bottom of the ocean floor back to the ship.
What are the major features of Earth's ocean floors?
How were they formed?
The major ocean floor features include trenches, the continental shelf, the continental slope, the abyssal plain and the mid-ocean ridge.
These features were formed by the interaction of Earth's plates.
Explain the history of Earth's ocean floors; when and how was the Mariana Trench discovered?
The British vessel MHS Challenger sailed in 1872 to research the ocean depths; they found the deepest part of the ocean (5 miles depth from the surface of the ocean), known today as the 'Mariana Trench'. Then in 1951, a U.S. Naval expedition set out to map the ocean floor using sonar technology. During this expedition, they found that there a was an even deeper portion of the Mariana Trench on the southern part of the trench; this was named "The Challenger Deep" which was 7 miles deep from the surface of the ocean. Finally in January 1960, another U.S. Naval expedition was conducted, utilizing a special submarine vessel created by August Picard; this vessel allowed two men to dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench and confirm the ocean depth. It set a world record for the deepest dive ever in the ocean.
Who was Harry Hess?
Harry Hess was Geologist from Princeton that combined all the sonar images of Earth's oceans to create a massive ocean floor map. He discovered that there was a 40,000 miles mountain range, which was the largest geological formation on Earth; the East Pacific Ridge, which also runs parallel to the Mariana Trench.
How do waves develop?
Waves usually develop from the energy of wind being blown across the surface of the water.
Explain how the factors that impact the size of a wave.
The size of a wave depends on the strength of the wind, the length of time and distance it blows.
Name the wave characteristics.
Explain Wave Energy.
The size of a wave depends on the strength of the wind and length of time the wind blows. The energy of a wave depends on its size (height) and strength. As the wave is formed only the energy of the wave moves forward toward shore, the water itself remains in place. This is due to the way how water particles move (circular motion).
Explain how a Tsunami occurs.
When the Earth's plates collide it can waves deep in the ocean, which are called Tsunamis. These types of waves travel quickly from the deep ocean to the shores of continents, bringing much power and destruction.
How do waves affect the shore?
Waves shape a beach shore by eroding sand or building up sand, over a period of time.
Explain the difference between an ocean wave and a current.
Waves don't move water from one place to another and currents do. They move water at the surface and also deep in the ocean.
Explain the Coriolis Effect.
In the Northern Hemisphere of Earth, Coriolis Effect causes the water current to flow clockwise and in the Southern Hemisphere of Earth the Coriolis Effect causes water current to flow counter clockwise.
Explain how El Niño and La Niña climates can impact weather patterns.
The water temperature changes caused by El Niño or La Niña cause different weather patterns, because water temperatures impact the air temperature and also the climate near the land.
What causes 'deep currents'?
Deep currents are caused by differences in the density of ocean water. Temperature, salinity are major factors that cause the difference in the density of water.
How are Ocean Zones and Organisms classified?
Ocean Zones are classified by three zones: Intertidal zone, Neritic zone and Open-Ocean zone. Ocean organisms are classified by where they live and how they move.
Explain the concept of a Food-Web.
First Level: Producers - produce their own food through photosynthesis
Second Level: Consumers - eat the producers and other organisms
Third Level: Decomposers - break down waste and remains of other organisms
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