Marine Science Test 2/4

___________________ known by sailors as the doldrums, is the area encircling the earth near the equator where the northeast and southeast trade winds come together.

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 Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ)

_____________ is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversingwind accompanied by corresponding changes inprecipitation, but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea. Usually, the term _____________ is used to refer to the rainy phase of a seasonally-changing pattern, although technically there is also a dry phase.

___________  refers to a part of the large-scale ocean circulation that is driven by global density gradients created by surface heat and freshwater fluxes.

thermohaline circulation (THC)

______  and ____ are two of the primary characteristics scientists use to identify water masses. Their principle value comes from being conservative properties, which means they are not influenced by biological activity. Both ______  and ____  only change by either interaction with the atmosphere or by mixing with other water masses.
Temperature and Salinity
The _______ _______, also known as the _____ _______, is a conceptual model of the air flow in the tropics in the lower atmosphere (troposphere).

Walker circulation


walker cell

__________    __________    is a deflection of moving objects when they are viewed in arotating reference frame. In a reference frame with clockwise rotation, the deflection is to the left of the motion of the object; in one with counter-clockwise rotation, the deflection is to the right.

Coriolis effect
______ in oceanography is any large system of rotating ocean currents, particularly those involved with large wind movements. ____ are caused by the Coriolis Effect; planetary vorticity along with horizontal and vertical friction, which determine the circulation patterns from the wind curl (torque).

Spring equinox is known as:

Fall equinox is known as:

__________ ___________ occurs when the tilt of a planet’s semi-axis, in either the northern or the southern hemisphere, is most inclined toward the star (sun) that it orbits. 

Summer Solstice
_______ __________  is the time at which the sun appears at noon at its lowest altitude above the horizon.
Winter solstice

Angular distance of Sun from equatorial plane.


Arctic Circle- ______ ______degrees north latitude.

Arctic Circle- North 66.5 degrees north latitude.

Antarctic Circle- _____ _______ ______ latitude.

Antarctic Circle- 66.5 degrees south latitude.

Reflectivity of a surface



average for earth is 30%

Lowest layer of atmosphere.


Lowest to Highest
Upper Atmosphere

Lowest to Highest
  1. Troposphere
  2. Stratosphere
  3. Ozone
  4. Upper Atmosphere

Rising and sinking air
Warm ; Moist air rises
Cold ; Dry air sinks
…. What does this describe?

Convection Cell
_____________  _________ is the force per unit area exerted on a surface by the weight of air above that surface in the atmosphere of Earth (or that of another planet).

Atmospheric Pressure

______ == Amount of water vapor in the air.


Saturated air is air that filled with water vapor…. what’s that describe?


Mass of water vapor in a unit of air compared to the remaining mass of dry air describes what?

Mixing Ratio

Ration of the airs actual water vapor content compared with the amount of water vapor required for saturation at that temperature & pressure describes…

Relative Humidity

Air is compressed


Collisions of air molecules increase and air will warm


Air expands


Collision of air molecules decrease and air will cool



describes what?

Adiabatic Heating/Cooling

Movements in the Air:

Movements in the Air
Polar                           60-90 Lat
Ferrel                          30-60 Lat
Hadley                         0-30 Lat
Doldrums, ITCZ0        0
Hadley                         0-30 Lat
Ferrel                          30-60 Lat
Polar                           60-90 Lat

_____ deflection in the northern hemp (caused by coriolis effect)
Right deflection in the northern hemp (caused by coriolis effect)
_______ deflection in the northern hemp (caused by coriolis effect)
Left deflection in the northern hemp (caused by coriolis effect)

High Pressure Zones – _______ Air
            Subtropical High – ____ degrees Lat
            Polar Highs – ______ degrees Lat

High Pressure Zones – Descending Air
            Subtropical High – 30 degrees Lat
            Polar Highs – 90 degrees Lat

Low Pressure Zones – _________ Air
            Equatorial Low – __________
            Subpolar Lows – ________  degrees Lat

Low Pressure Zones – Rising Air
            Equatorial Low – Equator
            Subpolar Lows – 60 degrees Lat

Wind Belts
            Trade Winds – From ______ degrees lat
            NE Trades in N. Hemp
            SE Trades in S. Hemp

Wind Belts
            Trade Winds – From 0-30 degrees lat
            NE Trades in N. Hemp
            SE Trades in S. Hemp


Doldrums or ITCZ – At Equator
Horse Latitudes – 30 degrees
Polar Fronts – 60 degrees Lat 

Wet, Stormy winter in S CA

El Nino Year

Normal, Sunny conditions

La Nina Year

Deep Ocean circulation drive by temperature and density differences in water

Thermohaline Circulation 

Identifies deep water masses based on temp, salinity, and resulting density

Temperature-Salinity Diagram (T-S Diagram)

Evaporation causes the water to become saltier, and when it spills out into the sea, it sneaks and sinks below the less dense water above.

Mediterranean Sea water

Starts off in the cold areas

  • Cold dense water stays at the bottom and flows on the bottom
  • Surface waters stay at the surface and flows around

Conveyor Belt Circulation

Water masses formed in these ways keep their characteristics for a long time

  • Antarctic Bottom Water – 1600 Years = 1 circuit.
  • Other Deep water – 200 to 300 years
  • Time to complete a circuit of the North Atlantic Gyre = 1 year (surface current)

Time to complete a circuit of the North Atlantic Gyre

1 year (surface current)

Boundary that separates air masses of different densities.

Weather Fronts

  • Warm air replaces cool air
  • Small Slope (1:200)
  • Clouds become lower as front nears
  • Slow rate of advance.

Warm Front

  • Cold air replaces warm air
  • More Steep (1:100)
  • Faster advance than warm front
  • Associated weather is more violent than a warm front.
  • Intense and shorter
  • Cold air mass, subsiding air, clearing conditions after the front.

Cold Front

  • Heavy rainfall, lighting, occasional hail.
  • Requirements
    • Warm & Moist Air
    • High surface temps
    • Common afternoon and early evening.


  • Cumulus Stage
  • Require continuous supply of warm and moist air
  • Mature Stage
  • Precipitation
  • Most active, Gusty winds, lightingm hail, lots of rain.
  • Dissipating Stage
  • Cooling effect of precipitation marks the end

Thunderstorm Development

  • First signs of their approach are in the western sky
  • Requires 2 or 4 days to pass over a region
  • Weather associated with fronts
    • Warm front
      • Clouds become low and thick
      • Light precipitation
      • After warm front, winds become more southerly and temp warms
  • Cold Front
      • Wall of dark clouds
      • Heavy rain
      • Winds become more northerly, skies clear, and temp drops

Middle-Latitude Cyclone

Usually develop in winter when temp differences across the polar front are especially large.
Northeasters: Extratropical Cyclones in atlantic ocean, most violent in North America.

Extratropical Cyclones

  • Generated by upper level air flow
  • Maintained by upper level air flow
  • Typically found adjacent to one another.

Cyclones and Anticyclones

  • Low pressure system
  • Surface convergence
  • Outflow (Divergence) aloft sustains the low pressure


  • High pressure system
  • Associated with cyclones
  • Surface divergence
  • Convergence Aloft


  • Qualification
    • Wind Speeds <74 MPH
    • Rotary Cyclonic Circulation
  • Forms between latitudes of 5 degrees and 20 degrees
    • Typhoons in western pacific
    • Cyclones in Indian Ocean
  • North Pacific has the greatest # per year.
  1. Moving over water warner than 26 degrees C, warm and humid air begins to rise.
  2. This upward movement sucks in surface air, which is warmed by water as it moves toward the center.
  3. Vapor condensing to rainfall releases (latent heat) energy, which is replenished by the ocean warming new, incoming surface air.
Deflection of winds approaching a center of low P
  • Air inside the cyclone gets rotated in the opposite of coriolis.


Air inside the cyclone gets rotated in the opposite of __________.

Air inside the cyclone gets rotated in the opposite of coriolis.

  • Storm Surge
  1. Large dome of water sweeps across the coast where eye makes landfall.
  • Wind damage
  • Inland flooding from torrential rains.

Category of Hurricane Damage

Why was Hurricane Sandy so odd?

  1. Merged with an extra-tropical cyclone weather system arriving from the west.
  2. Took a hard left and got sucked in by the low pressure system.
  3. Storm Surge was lower, BUT DIAMETER WAS LARGER 300<1000m

Hurricanes diminish in intensity whenever:

  • Move onto cooler ocean water
  • Move onto land
  • Large-scale flow aloft is unfavorable.