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99 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Composition of the Earth's atmosphere
also present:water vapor (^41%), O3 (ozone) aerosals:dust, pollen, sea salt, soot, ash
a molecule of oxygen containing three oxygen atoms
Origin of the atmosphere (sources of gases)
1.The early stage rich in H & He, etc.
2.Degassing/Outgassing stage-volcanos-gives us N, CO2, CH4, H20.
3.Oxygenation stage-dissociation H20
5-10miles altitude (about 7 miles), contains 75-90% of Earth's atmosphere. Responsible for most weather patterns (greenhouse effect) Temp down is about 3.5F every 1,000ft
about 7-35 miles altitude-contains most ozone
about 35-50 miles
about 50-435 miles
about 30-250 miles altitude containse ionized gas N, O2
Cause of mirage
caused by a refraction of light in warm or cool air. Two types: 1. looming-if it is in the sky 2. "water on highway"
Cause for rainbows
refraction of light as it passes through rain.
Greenhouse effect
the warming of Earth's atmosphere by heat radiated from the Earth's surface.

1. about 50% of sunlight reaches Earth's surface.
2. Light warms Earth.
3. Heat is than radiated from Earth's surface (long waved radiation)
4. This heat energy is absorbed by greenhouse gases (co2, h20)
Hurricane season
June 1-November 30
Area of formation (latitude)
Between 5-20degrees N/S latitude
What causes a hurricane?
Coriolis effect- deflection of free-moving objects (air, water, air planes) due to the Earth's spin.

Latent heat- "hidden heat"-heat energy that is either gained or loss during a change in physical state-breaking or formation of atomic bonds.
Tropical Wave/Disturbance
"t wave" moving thunderstorms in tropics
Tropical depression
cyclonic movements, winds up to 38mph
T storms
winds 39-73mph, named storms
winds greater than or equal to 74mph
Storm surge
the rise in sea levels as Hurricanes makes landfall. Caused by low pressure and high winds that "pile" water up at shore.
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Intensity Scale
Cat 1-74-95mph, surge 4-5, damage minimal

Cat 2-96-110mph, surge 6-8, moderate

Cat 3-111-130mph, surge 9-12, extensive

Cat 4-131-155mph, surge 13-18, extreme

Cat 5-greater than 155mph, surge greater than 18, catastrophic
Thunderstorm formation
1. Cumulus Stage-low pressure, warm, moist air rising usually for afternoon or evening (rising air-updrafts). As warm air rises, it expands (in lower pressure air/atmosphere)&cods(adibotic cooling).-cooling results in condensation to form tiny raindroplets or ice crystals.

2. Mature stage- accumulaton of water and/or ice crystals can no longer be supported by the warm updrafts-so precipitation begins-rain does not begin because warm updrafts support the water & ice release of latent heat fuels updrafts cloud sometimes called a thunderstorm.
b. rain is preceded by cool downdrafts
c. as rain begins, warm updrafts increase rapidly, increading the height of the cloud.
d.dominated by both warm updrafts &cool downdrafts
e. lightening and thunder produced

3. Dissipative stage-cool drafts dominate, precipitation stops and storm deprived of moisture
Earth sun relations
tilt axis 23.5 degrees, orbit is elliptical
Earth is closest to the sun
91,000,000miles (Jan3rd)
farthest from the Sun
94,000,000 miles (July 4th)
Solar Radiation
Electromagnetic radiation
Sunlight 43% visible, 49% infrared 7%UV less than 1% x gamma, radio waves
When light reaches Earth it may be (name three different occurences)
1. Scattered-by clouds, dust

2. Reflected (off of Earth's surface)

3. Absorbed by the clouds-albedo atmosphere or surface about 50%
Where is there more heat?
The Earth is warmed differentially (more heat in the equator)
As warm air rises (low pressure)
cool air sinks (high pressure)-atmospheric convection
Average depth of the ocean
2.3 miles
Name the 5 oceans and get a brief location of them
1. Pacific-largest and deepest ocean (2.65miles)

2. Atlantic-S-shaped ocean formed by the breakup of Pangia

3. Indian Ocean-forms by the breakup of Afric, Anartica, Australia, and India

4.Artic-shallowest, largely covered in ice for much of the year

5. Antartic (Southern ocean)-any water south of 50degreeS, flows around Anartica (thermal isolation)
Origin of ocean water
1. Dewatering of Earth's interior by volcanism. Gases in an average Hawaiian eruptions: 70%-H20, 15%C02, 15%N,S,Cl, Ar

2. Condensation from Earth's early atmosphere

3. Comets
Average salinity in parts per thousand
Dissolution of Salt
Na+Cl->Na++Cl- cation & anion
(Sodium and Chloride)
Salinity Classifications
Normal Marine-30-40%
Brine- greater than 80%
Why is the sea salty?
1.Source of sal a. cations (Na,Ca, Mg, K)-derived primarily by the erosion of rocks on Halite land b. anion (cl-,so-4)-derived primarily from volcanic emissions
2. salts are mixed in ocean Mixing time-1,000-1600years
3. Salts get concentrated in the ocean overtime
4. Ocean stays constant salinity
5. So, salts are being removed from ocean as fast as they are delivered to ocean "steady state ocean."
What causes lightning and thunder
by both warm updrafts and cool down drafts. Thunder is caused by the rapid heating of the air.
% volume of water of hydrosphere in ocean
The ocean covers how much of the Earth's surface?
Average depth of the ocean (in miles)
2.3 miles
Name four types of ocean sediments
Terrigenous or sillicicate, authigenic, biogenic, volcanic
Also known as sillicicate.

little settlements of silicon, land originated from land erosion. Includes: quartz sand. It is delivered to the ocean by rives, wind, turbidity currents (generated by Earthquakes) ice-from galaciers (break off into icebergs)
Known as hydrogenous.

sediment that precipitates out of sea water. lime stone (some types), salts (evaporite minerals)-halite (NaCL) and gypsum (CaSO4), phosphorite-used in a lot of common household items.
shells (tests) of marine plankton. Corals and mollusk-shells.
-plantoxic ooze-made of the shells of plankton
-fossil fuels which consists of petroleum and natural gas-forms from sappropel-burned-heated to ~120degree-210degrees F.
-gas hydrates-natural gas in permafrost
ash, cinders(pebbles)
micrometeorites, dust from space
Motion of water in a wave is
Wave base is
depth to which waves disturb water
Surface layer
(surface mixed zone)-only about ~2%(by volume) of ocean water. In the photic zone,well oxygenated, 0-150m depth, contains much marine life, warm
Deep Water
(deep zone) consists of 80% of ocean water, -1degree-3degreeC temperature (doesn't freeze because it is salt water), a photic zone (dark, cold, near freezing, no sunlight)
Transitional layer (zone)
Pycnocline-18% of ocean water by volume. Zone of rapidly changing density (w/ depth). Density=temperature & salt (salinity)

Pynocline-thermocline (change of temperature w/ depth)+ halcline (salinity).
Surface ocean circulation: is driven by
Why do gyres move in an large, circular/oval current fashion?
Gyres flow clockwise in the N. hempisphere & counterclockwise in the S. Hempisphere=due to the coriolis effect. and due to the confining influence of the continents, also Ekman Transport.
Deep sea circulation:also called what?
density-driven circulation
Deep sea currents
heavy water sinks, horixontal & vertical, also called thermahaline circulation (temperature and salinity)
-begins in high latitude waters (polar waters), seawater freezes, only ~15% of salt is incorporated into the ice.
What is upwelling?
The rising of cold water from deeper layers to replace warmer surface water, is a common wind-induced vertical movement.
Cause of tsunamis?
tidal waves, seismic sea waves. Long-wavelength waves (up to 125 miles), wave periods of 10-20 minutes, move up to greater than or equal to 400mph. Waves up to 100ft high caused primarily by:Earthquakes.
Tidal currents
Flood tides-rising currents
Ebb tide-receding time
Slack water-in between high and low
Tidal Ranges
Different of average high and low tides

macrotidal->4 meters
mesotidal- 2-4 meters
microtidal <2m
Types of tides
diurnal-1 high & 1 low tide per tidal day
2. semi-diurnal-2 equal high & low tides per tidal days.
3. mixed semi-diurnal- 2 unequal high & low tides per tidal day
Neap tides
lowest tidal range, occurring near the times of the first and third quarter phases of the moon.
Spring tide
highest tidal range that occurs near the times of the new and full moons.
Wave-cut platform
a bench or shelf in the bedrock at sea level, cut by wave erosion
Sea arch
an arch formed by wave erosion when caves on opposite sides of a headland unite
Sea stack
an isolated mass of rock standing just offshore, produced by wave erosion of a headland.
A steep-sided inlet of the sea formed when a glacial trough was partilly submerged
unconsolidated sand, an accumulation of sediment found along the landward margin of the ocean or a lake.
solar bulge
lunar bulge
Continental Margins
That portion of the seafloor adjacent to the continents. It may include the continental shelf (average depth to shelf edge is 140 meters), continental slope(submarine canyons, turbidity currents, and continental rise.
Ocean Basins
Area of the deep-ocean floor between the continental margin and the mid-ocean ridge.

Mid-ocean Ridge-~40,000 miles-rises
~1.25 miles above sea floor. Volcanic rift, ridge, rift at top, hydrothermal vents
Abyssal plains
Very level area of the deep-ocean floor, usually lying at the foot of the continental rise.

Hills-not flat, rises
The large circular surface current pattern found in each ocean.
An isolated volcanic peak that rises at least 1000 meters (3000 feet) above the deep-ocean floor.
An elongate ridge of sand that projects from the land into the mouth of an adjacent bay.
Baymouth Bar
A sandbar tat completely crosses a bay, sealing it off from the open ocean
Barrier island
A low, elongate ridge of sand that parallels the coast.
A hill or ridge of wind-deposited sand.
Coastal Submergent Coast
common drown river valleys, fjords, estuaries
Emergent Coast
common terraces, stair stepping look
Wave refraction
bending of waves as they approach the shore.
Longshore drift
the movement of sand along the shore.

2 Processes a. Long shore current-shore parallel current that results in waves stricking the shore in a slight angle.

b. beach drift, zig zag movement of sand along the beach face, that results from the swash & backwash of the breakers.
Cell circulation
a coastal circulation system created by a balance btw:

a. mass transport-mounding, piling up of water near the beach due to incoming waves.
b. longshore current-caused by lateral water flow from mass transport
c. rip currents-shore perp current created by the convergence of two longshore currents (rip tide or undertow)
Signs of a rip current
Cuspate beach and discontinous sand bar
Beach erosion
75% of US coastline is eroding. Beach erosion of accretion controlled by:
a. sediment supply-rivers, wave erosion of mainland
b. fair weather wave energy
c. storm frequency & intensity
d. relative sea level change
Controlling beach erosion
a. beach nourishment-dredging off shore sands, trucking sand
b. graynel jetty
c. breakwater
d. seawall
Pelagic Organisms
water itself, phytoplankton and zooplankton
Benthic Organism
sea floor zone
Photic vs. Aphotic xone
Photic-the upper part of the ocean into which all sunlight penetrates

Aphotic-The portion of the ocean where there is no exposure to sunlight
Equation for Photosynthesis
6 CO2 + 6 H2O + light → C6H12O6 + 6 O2
Trophic pyramid
Phytoplankton-zooplankton-1st level carnovares-2nd level carnivorees-3rd level carnivores-Top carnivores

10% food transfer up each level
Two primary controls on Marine Primary Productivity
1. The production of food energy by autotrophs (self-feeders) primarily by photosynthesis
2. Phytoplankton-90%-98% of all ocean productivity seaweed (macroalgae)-2-10%
Over the past 100yrs, Earth's climate has warmed about
1 degree C
Over past 100 years, sea level has risen about
4-8 inches
Sea level is presently rising about
2 mm per year
Hypsithermal Interval
7,500-5,000 years ago. Peak warming after the ice age. Temperatures up to 2 degrees C above present. Anartica grew-more percipitation present in the air.
Medieval Climate Optimum
1000-1300AD, colonization of Greenland by the Vikings, Period of warming
Little Ice Age
1400-1900AD- 1-2 degree C cooler climate expanded glaciers in Northern Europe.
Global Human population
6 billion
3 strategies recommmended by ecologist to conserve endangered species
1. Save habitat
2. Save keystone species
3. Save indicator Species-endemic, specialize species requires pristine habitat. example: beach mouse