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51 terms

Ocean motion-Mrs. Axelsson

currents , waves and tides
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ocean currents
a movement of ocean water that follows a regular stream like pattern
surface current
a horizontal movement of ocean water that is caused by wind and that occurs at or near the ocean's surface
Coriolis effect
the apparent curving of the path of a moving object from an otherwise straight path due to Earth's rotation
deep current
a streamlike movement of ocean water far below the surface
upwelling
the movement of deep, cold, and nutrient-rich water to the surface
El Nino
a change in the surface water temperature in the Pacific Ocean that produces a warm current
La Nina
a change in the eastern Pacific Ocean in which the surface water temperature becomes unusually cool
drought
an unusually long period during which rainfall is below average
wave
a crest and trough in ocean water/ any disturbance carrying energy through matter or empty space
trough
the lowest point of a wave
wave length
the distances between 2 adjacent wave crests or wave troughs
wave height
the vertical distances between the crest and trough of a wave
wave period
the time between the passage of 2 wave crests (or troughs) at a fixed point
deep-water wave
waves that move water deeper than one-half of their wave length
shallow-water wave
the waves that reach water shallower than one-half their wave length
breaker
waves that are high wave crests that are pulled down by gravity
breaker zone
the area where waves first begin to break
surf
the area between the breaker zone and the shore
undertow
a subsurface current that is near shore and that pulls objects out to sea
longshore current
a water current that travels near and parallel to the shoreline
whitecap
the bubbles in the crest of a breaking wave
swell
one of a group of long ocean waves that have steadily traveled a great distance from their point of generation
tsunamis
a giant ocean wave that forms after a volcanic eruption, submarine earthquake, or landslide
storm surge
a local rise in sea level near the shore that is caused by strong winds from a storm
Gulf Stream
a warm ocean current that flows from the Gulf of Mexico northward through the Atlantic Ocean
continental deflections
When surface currents meets continents, the currents deflect, or change direction
density
the amount of matter in a given space
convection currents
Currents caused by hot liquid rising and cooler liquid sinking.
global winds
Wind belts that travel across the world due to unequal heating of Earth's surface.
tides
the regular rise and fall of the ocean's surface influenced by the moon's gravity pulling on earth
tidal range
is the difference in height between successive high and low tides
spring tide
a tide with the greatest difference between high an low tide that occurs when the earth, sun and the moon are aligned
neap tide
a tide with the least difference between high and low tide that occurs when the sun and moon pull at right angles to each other
continental shelf
the gently sloping section of the continental margin located between the shoreline and the continental slope
continental slope
the steeply inclined section of the continental margin located between the continental rise and the continental shelf
continental rise
the gently sloping section of the continental margin located between the continental slope and the abyssal plain
abyssal plain
a large, flat, almost level area of the deep-ocean basin
mid ocean ridge
An underwater moutain chain where new ocean floor is formed
rift valley
a long, narrow valley that forms as tectonic plates separate
seamount
a submerged mountain on the ocean floor that is at least 1,000 m high and that has a volcanic origin
ocean trench
A steep, long depression in the deep-sea floor that runs parallel to a chain of volcanic islands or a continental margin
water cycle
The continuous process by which water moves from Earth's surface to the atmosphere and back
precipitation
Any form of water that falls from clouds and reaches Earth's surface.
condensation
water vapor cools and becomes water droplets
transpiration
Evaporation of water from the leaves of a plant
runoff
water that flows over the ground surface rather than soaking into the ground
percolation
The downward movement of water through soil and rock due to gravity.
hydrologic cycle
The water cycle through which water in the atmosphere moves;
salinity
A measure of the amount of dissolved salts in a given amount of liquid
nonpoint- source pollution
pollution that comes from many sources rather than from a single, specific site
point source polution
pollution that comes from a specific site