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53 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Depression call _________ make up a large portion of the suboceanic crust.
Define abyssal basin
A basin between 2 and 6 thousand meters in depth
Define a hadal basin
A basin the extends below 6 thousand meters.
Define abyssal plain
it is a very level sectin of an abyssal basin
Small underwater volcanoes are called
abyssal hills
Large underwater volcanoes are called
Define continental rise
the point at which the depth of the ocen floor begins to noticeably decrease
Define continental slope
The location at which the slant of the ocean floor steepens very rapidly.
Define continental shelf
A shallow plain that gradually rises to meet the dry land of a continent.
Together, the continental shelf and the continental slope and half the continental rise that is located closest to dry land compose and area called the......
Continental margin
______ are calcium carbonate structures built by colonies of animals known as _________
Name the 3 types of reefs
1.) Fringing reefs
2.) Barrier reefs
3.) Atolls
Describe a fringing reef
are often found in the shallow water that borders landmasses. They tend to grow in the outer portions of these areas, where wave actin is the greatest and the dilution of seawater by surface streams is minimal.
Describe a barrier reef
Form when fringing reefs continue to grow outward such that they create areas of relatively calm water known as lagoons between their inner edges and the shoreline
Describe an Atoll reef
result when barrier reefs form around volcanoes and these volcanoes sink back into the ocean floor. After the descent of the volcanoes, all that remains on the ocean surface is a circular-shaped atoll with a lagoon in its middle.
What is terrigenous or lithogenous sediments?
Sediments composed of gravel, sand, silt, and clay. Carried to the ocean by the action of continental rivers and streams.
What is biogenous sediment?
Ocean sediments consisting of matter that was produced by living organisms. They typically contain materials such as coral pieces and shells from tiny sea creatures. 50%
What is hydrogenous sediment?
Formed when chemical substances precipitate out of seawater.
What is cosmogenous sediment?
Sediment composed from burning meteors in earth's atmosphere.
What is salinity?
Is a measure of a substance saltiness.
Define thermocline
The warmth of all three oceans within their upper regions drops rapidly at an essentially constant rate, and it extends to a depth of appox 500 meters.
Water in the central part of the oceans tend to spin due to the .........
Coriolis effect.
As ocean water spins due to the coriolis effect, it causes a slight rise in the oceans surface known as a ...........
What is thermal inertia
Is a measure of a materials responsiveness to change in the temperature of its surroundings.
Seawater has a high
thermal inertia
Name the 4 reasons seawater has a high thermal inertia
1.) High specific heat
2.) Light penetration
3.) Water mixing
4.) Phase changes
Name the 4 types of ice masses
Fast ice
Pack ice
Polar ice
Describe Fast ice
form quickly near shore and then extend out to sea.
Describe Pack ice
Originate at sea, as small patches of slush and grow into solid bodies up to tow meters thick.
Describe Polar ice
If Pack ice continues to grow it forms a mass known as polar ice, which can be up to 4 meters thick and last 4 years
Describe an iceberg
Result when large areas of ice break off from glaciers that meet the sea.
Define a current
are large masses of water that flow in a particular direction.
Currents are divided into two categories, name them:
1.) Deep currents
2.) Surface currents
Describe Deep currents
form when areas of water at or near the ocean surface begin to sink due to the fact that they are denser that the water that surrounds them. After sinking, these currents are insulated from surface processes such as evaporation, mixing by wind, and waves, and dilution by rainfall. As a result, deep currents maintain their properties for a long time as well as long distances.
Describe Surface currents
Are caused by the action of earth's major wind systems. As wind blows across the ocean surface, it pulls the top layer of water along with it. In turn, this surface water drags the water below it, although the velocity of the subsurface water decreases with depth.
Define a wave
Are moving ridges on the surface of the ocean
Name the 2 classifications of waves
Describe a free wave
Are those that exist without the continued presence of their generating forces.
Describe a forced wave
are those that rely upon the continued presence of their generating forces.
What happens when waves superimpose?
When ocean waves meet, they join.
What is constructive superimposition?
When two or more crests or troughs join and greatly increase a wave's size and destructive ability.
What is destructive superimposition?
A crest and trough combine and thereby cancel each other out. This is destructive superimposition.
What is orbital motion?
The crest of a passing wave moves subsurface particles forward, but the trough of that same wave pulls the particles back to their original position. Orbital motion decreases rapidly with depth.
When waves enter the shallow water near a shore, the particles with orbital motion are no longer able to fully travel through their vertical orbits. Such action creates the foamy waves or __________ that surfers so enjoy.
Define tides
are force fluctuations of the ocean surface that result from the gravitational influence of the Sun and the Moon.
What are spring tides?
When the Moon is near its full and new phases, its pull on the ocean coincides with that caused by the sun. This situation results in especially large ocean bulges known as spring tides.
What is a neap tide?
When the moon is near its first and third quarter phases, it forms a right angle with Earth and the sun. This causes the gravitational influence of both the Sun and Moon to partially offset one another, thereby creating relatively small bulges known as neap tides.
What is amphidromic motion?
Tidal waters, like all of Earth's liquids, are subject to the influence of the Coriolis effect. As a result these water masses move across the ocean in large circular paths by way of the phenomena called amphidromic motion.
Define Beaches
Are gently sloping coastal areas in which large amounts of loose sediments have accumulated.
Name the parts of a beach
1.) Backshore region
2.) Foreshore region
3.) Offshore region
Describe the backshore region of a beach
is the part that is not submerged when the tide is at its highest level.
Describe the foreshore region of a beach
is the portion of a beach that lies between the highest and lowest tide levels.
Describe the offshore region of a beach
is the section of a beach that is constantly covered by water.