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21 terms

Oceanography

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hypsographic curve
plot of area of Earth's surface above any given elevation or depth above or below sea level
continental margins
submerged outer edge of the continent
ocean basins
deep seafloor beyond the continental margin
passive margins
Atlantic-type margins & face the edges of diverging tectonic plates. Very little earthquake/ volcanic activity here.
active margins
known as Pacific- type margins, are located near the edges of converging plates. Site of volcanic/ earthquake activity.
continental shelf
shallow, submerged edge of the continent
continental slopes
transition between continental shelf and the deep-ocean floor, has the steepest slope
shelf break
abrupt transition from continental shelf to continental slope
continental rises
accumulated sediment found at base of continental slope
submarine canyons
cut into continental shelf and slope, often terminating on the deep-sea floor in a fan-shaped wedge of sediment
turbidity current
current propelled by gravity; underwater avalanche of sediments
transform faults
fractures where lithospheric plates slide horizontally past one another. Active part of fracture zones
guyots
flat-topped sea mounts eroded by wave action
boundary layer
region of water flow influenced by proximity to surface
ooze
biogeneous sediment containing more than 30% of shells of planktonic organisms
well-sorted sediments
composed of single-sized particles, energy fluctuates within a narrow range, deep-sea floor
poorly sorted sediments
mixture of sizes, energy fluctuates over a wide range, near submarine canyon by turbidity current
Autonomous Benthic Explorer
underwater robot, first AUV used by US
TOPEX/Poseidon satellite
measures sea surface topography
Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler
used to measure how fast water is moving across water column
Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth Sensors
determine physical properties of water