15 terms

Marine Biology - Module 1: Oceans of Our Planet

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Oceanic crust
The portion of the earth's crust that primarily contains basalt, is relatively dense, and is about 5 kilometers thick.
Continental crust
The portion of the earth's crust that primarily contains granite, is less dense than oceanic crust, and is 20 to 50 kilometers thick.
Plate tectonics
A process involving the movement of large plates on the earth's mantle.
Mid-ocean ridge
A continuous chain of underwater volcanic mountains encompassing the earth.
Sea floor spreading
The process that creates new sea floor as plates move away from each other at the mid-ocean ridges.
Subduction
The downward movement of one plate into the earth's mantle when two plates collide.
Continental shelf
The gently sloped, shallow section of the edge of a continent, extending from the shore to the point where the slope get's steeper.
Continental slope
The steeper section of a continental edge, extending seaward from the continental shelf.
Continental rise
The gently sloping area at the base of the continental slope.
Specific heat
The amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one gram of a substance by 1 degree Celsius.
Salinity
The total amount of salt dissolved in a solvent.
Coriolis effect
The way in which the rotation of the earth ends the path of winds and resulting sea currents.
Gyres
Large, mostly circular systems of surface currents driven by the wind.
Spring tide
A time of largest tidal range due to the gravitational pull of the aligned sun and moon (during full moon and new moon).
Neap tide
A time of smallest tidal range due to the moon and sun being located at right angles to each other (during quarter moons).