15 terms

Science terms

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salinity
total amount of dissolved salts in the water; measured in parts per thousand (ppt)
rule of constant proportions
the percentage of major salts in seawater is constant, even though the amount of salt can vary
chloride and sodium
the ions with the highest concentration (percentage) in seawater
temperature profile
a vertical profile of temperature by depth in the water column
dissolved gases
oxygen and carbon dioxide; colder water holds more dissolved gases than warmer water; can be added to the water by surface mixing (wind) or by biological processes (photosynthesis and cellular respiration)
transparency
water is most transparent to blue light (blue light make it the deepest) and least transparent to red light
pressure
increases by 1 atm per 10 meters depth
aragonite and calcite
forms of calcium carbonate; calcite is more stable, aragonite will dissolve faster
thermocline
a zone in the water column in which temperature rapidly changes with depth
dissolved oxygen
in the surface layer, comes from photosynthesis and mixing with the air
hydrogen sulfide
chemical source of energy for chemosynthesis at hydrothermal vents on the seafloor
Stoke's law
the sinking velocity of a particle depends on the size and density. Larger, more dense particles sink faster than smaller less dense particles
Redfield ratio
Atomic ratio of Carbon:Nitrogen:Phosphorus found in phytoplankton and deep ocean sediments: 106:16:1
Deep scattering layer
Layer of vertically migrating organisms, mostly plankton. During the day they are deep below the surface, at night they rise to the surface to feed. So dense that it scatters sonar signals so that it reads as a "false bottom" of the ocean.
Diel vertical migration
Daily migration of organisms from the deep to the surface and back.