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Pacific Ocean

largest ocean in the world


a measure of the amount of dissolved salts in a given amount of liquid

How water movement affects salinity

slower moving areas have higher salinity

Surface Zone

the warm top layer of the ocean water, from surface to 300 m under


the second layer from 300- 700m temperature decreases as you go down faster here

Deep Zone

bottom layer, temperature from 1-3 degrees celsius.

Water Cycle

the continuous movement of water from the ocean to the atmosphere to the land and back to the ocean.


sound navigation and ranging, used to determine depths

Continental Shelf

gently sloping section of the continental margin between shoreline and slope

Continental Slope

steeply inclined section of the margin between the rise and shelf

Continental Rise

gently sloping section of margin between slope and abyssal plane

Abyssal Plain

large, flat, almost level area of the deep ocean basin

Mid Ocean Ridge

a long undersea mountain chain that forms along the floor of major oceans

Rift Valley

long, narrow valley that forms as tectonic plate separate

Ocean Trench

steep long depression in deep sea floor that runs parallel to a chain of volcanic islands or continental margin

Piloted Vessels

Alvin and deep flight are driven by people and search for things and explore the ocean

Robotic Vessels

Jason II and Medea, used because pilot are expensive and dangerous, to explore ocean floor


microscopic creatures


organisms that swim actively in the open ocean


organisms that live on or in the ocean floor

Benthic Environment

the region near the ocean floor and all the organisms that live on or in it.

Intertidal Zone

shallowest benthic environment. It changes as the tide comes and goes, becoming covered and uncovered by water

Sublittoral Zone

begins where intertidal ends. Here there is always water, things remain constant

Bathyal Zone

from 200m to 4,000m. Animals are octopuses and sea stars

Abyssal Zone

no plant and few animals here, largest zone of ocean. Tube worms live here

Hadal Zone

deepest zone of the ocean floor, a type of sponge, worm, and clam lives here

Pelagic Environment

Zone near the oceans surface and in the middle

Neritic Zone

covers the continental shelf has largest concentration of marine animals, fish and dolphins

Oceanic Zone

Covers entire sea floor besides the continental shelf, giant squids and whales live here

Living Ocean Resources

fish, kelp, seaweed

Fish Farms

used to minimize the number of fish taken from the ocean

Nonliving Ocean Resources

Oil and Natural gas


the process of removing salt from ocean water

Non-Point Source Pollution

pollution that comes from many sources rather than just a single site ex.oil and gas leaks, pesticides flowing

Point Source Pollution

pollution that comes from a specific site ex. trash dumping, sludge dumping

Ocean Currents

stream-like movements of water in the ocean

Surface Currents

movements of water near the surface of the ocean, caused by global winds, Coriolis effect, and continental deflections

Coriolis Effect

the apparent curving of moving objects from a straight path due to the earths rotation, causes surface currents in the North to go clockwise and south, counterclockwise

Deep Current

stream-like movements of ocean water located far below the surface, they are caused by increased density, caused by decreased temperature and increased salinity

Warm-Water Currents

cause the climates of coastal areas that would otherwise be cooler, to get warmer

Cold-Water Currents

cause the climates of coastal areas that would otherwise be warmer, to be cooler


a process in which cold, nutrient rich water from the deep ocean rises to the surface and replaces warm water this is important to organisms because the nutrients support the growth of plankton

El Niño

the periodic change in the location of warm and cool surface waters in the Pacific Ocean

La Niña

periodic change in the eastern Pacific Ocean in which the surface water temperature becomes unusually cool, follows el Niño

Damages of El Niño

flash floods and mudslides, drought, upwelling not occurring that is killing many organisms

Why we study el Niño

because of its effects on organisms and land


highest point of the waves


lowest point of the wave


distance between two adjacent crests or troughs

Wave Height

distance between the crest and the trough

Wave Period

the time between the passage of of two wave crests or troughs at a fixed point

Get Higher

what happens when waves approach the shore

Deep Water Waves

waves that move in water deeper than one half their wavelength.

Shallow Water Waves

when waves reach water shallower than half their wavelength

Breaker Zone

the area where the waves first begin to tumble


the bubbles in the crest of a breaking wave


one of a group of long ocean waves that have steadily traveled a great distance from their point of generation


a giant ocean wave that forms after a volcanic eruption, submarine earthquake, or landslide


daily changes in the level of ocean water

High Tides

When part of the ocean is directly facing the moon, the water bulges on that side and the opposite, theses bulges are

Timing Tides

24 hours and 50 minutes from high tide to high tide

Tidal Range

the difference in levels of ocean water at high and low tide.

Spring Tide

tide of increased range that occurs at the full and new moons, when this occurs the sun, moon, and earth are directly lined up.

Neap Tide

a tide of minimum range that occurs during the first and third quarters of the moon, the moon, earth, and sun form a 90 degree angle at this point

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