45 terms

Georgia Virtual Learning: Geological Oceanography Terms

Pacific basin
Largest of the Earth's oceans, divided by the equator into the North and South Pacific Oceans
Atlantic basin
Second largest ocean found between the Americas and Europe and Africa
Indian basin
Third largest ocean basin covering about 20% of the earth
Arctic basin
Located at the north pole, this is the smallest of the earth's oceans
Pacific Ring of Fire
Areas of earthquakes and volcanoes surrounding the pacific plate
Great Barrier Reef
The largest coral reef system in the world located off the coast of Australia
Mariana Trench
The deepest location in the Earth's crust located in the North Pacific Ocean
Mid-Atlantic Ridge
A divergent boundary located in the Atlantic Ocean and serves as the largest mountain range in the world
South Sandwich Trench
A deep trench caused by subduction zone in the Atlantic Ocean
Romanche Furrow
One of the major trenches of the Atlantic Ocean caused by a transform boundary
Occurring or coming approximately every 12 hours
Bermuda Triangle
Region of the Atlantic Ocean between Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas that is thought to have paranormal history
Gulf Stream
Strong current that originates from the Gulf of Mexico and follows the US eastern coastlines in the Atlantic
Red Sea
Saltwater inlet of the Indian Ocean between Africa and Asia
Persian Gulf
Extension of the Indian ocean between Iran and Arabia
Java Trench
The deepest point of the Indian ocean
Continental shelf
The stretch of the seabed adjacent to the shores of a particular country to which it belongs
Continental slope
Connects the continental shelf to the abyssal plain
Abyssal plains
Flat and gentle sloping areas found at the deepest parts of the ocean
An underwater mountain that does not reach above the ocean's surface
Flat-topped seamounts most commonly found in the pacific ocean
Island arcs
A curving series of volcanic islands typically caused by a subduction zone
Mid-ocean ridges
A long, seismically active submarine ridge system situated in the middle of an ocean basin and marking the site of the upwelling of magma associated with seafloor spreading. An example is the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
Sea floor spreading
Formation of new ocean floor through volcanic activity
Subduction zone
Location at the earth's crust where one plate moves under another at a convergent boundary
Inner core
Solid sphere within the center of the Earth made up of a nickel-iron alloy
Outer core
Liquid layer of Earth above the core made up of nickel and iron
Solid layer between the crust and the outer core which makes up 84% of the earth's volume
Less than 1% of Earth's volume, the crust is a layer of rock above the mantle
Continental plates
Thick plates of the Earth's crust that drift along the mantle
Continental drift
Theory that the Earth's plates drift along the surface of the mantle over a course of millions of years ago
Super continent that existed during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras
Convergent boundary
Boundary that occurs when continental plates move towards one another
Divergent boundary
Boundary that occurs when continental plates move away from one another
Transform boundary
Boundary that is caused when two plates slide against each other in a sideways motion
Particles of organic or inorganic matter that accumulate in a loose, unconsolidated form
Sediment derived from land and transported to the ocean by wind or flowing water.
Sediment of biological origin
Sediment formed from the precipitation of seawater
Sediment of extraterrestrial origin
The smallest sediment size, typically less than 0.004 mm
Sediment of at least 30% biological origin
Deposit formed from the evaporation of seawater
Oolite sands
Hydrogenous sediment formed from calcium carbonate precipitate
Small rounded glassy cosmogenous sediment formed from the impact of an astroid or meteor