Earth and Environmental Systems

What percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by ocean?
What percent of ocean water is dissolved salt?
Which is most dense: a) salty or fresh water b) warm or cold water?
a) saltyb) cold
What drives surface currents, and what drives deep ocean currents?
Surface currents driven by wind.Deep ocean currents driven by density differences.
What effect do these currents have on the heat distribution of the planet?
Currents redistribute heat from the equator to the poles.
What causes tides? When do you get the highest and lowest high tides, what are they called, and what astronomical configuration gives rise to each?
Gravitational pull of the sun and moon.Highest high tides: Spring tide, new moon and full moon.Lowest high tides: Neap tide, first quarter and third quarter moons.
What effect do tides have on the Earth’s rotation?
Tides slow the earth’s rotation.
Where are the most severe tides in the world?
Bay of Fundy
Know what factors affect the size and power of waves.
Wind speed: faster wind = bigger wavesWind duration: longer wind = bigger wavesFetch: farther wind blows = bigger waves
On a picture showing a series of waves, be able to label the following features: crest, trough, wavelength (L), wave base.
Know what happens to a wave as it approaches a shoreline.
Wave base touches bottomWavelength decreasesWave height increasesVelocity decreases
Understand the concept of wave refraction and its importance to coastal erosion.
The bending of waves – energy is concentrated on headland.
Know how to determine the direction of the longshore current, and beach drift.
Longshore current: movement of waterBeach drift: movement of sediment
How do humans attempt to control beach erosion?
Add sedimentSea wallsGroins and Jetties
What is the main cause of damage when a hurricane hits shore?
What are two main ways to change sea level? What is a third?
Melt glacial iceThermal expansionSea floor spreading
Be able to reproduce the hydrologic cycle and the formula for the hydrologic budget of a watershed.
P=R+I+ET(precipitation = runoff + infiltration + evapotranspiration)