Oceanography FINAL

Generating Force
A pulse of energy introduced and waves are produed. The waves produced by the generating force move away from the point of disturbance. Wind and friction between air and water.
Restoring Force
The force that causes water to return to its undisturbed surface level.
Surface tension
The elastic quality of the surface due to the cohesive behavior of the water molecules.
Capillary Waves (ripples)
Small waves restored by surface tension.
The part of the wave that is elevated the highest above the undisturbed sea surface.
The part that is depressed the lowest below the surface.
The distance between two successive crests or tw successive troughs.
Wave Height
The vertical distance from the top of the crest to the bottom of the trough. (Amplitude is equal to 1/2 of the wave height)
The time required fro two successive crests or troughs to pass a point in space.
What is the formula for speed?
Speed (C) = Length of the wave (L) / Period (T)
Deep Water Waves

The wave must occur in water that is deeper than one-half the wave’s length.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now


Particle Orbits
A path for water particles caused by motion (rising, falling, moving forward, reversing direction, and rising again) as a wave passes. Causes a floating object to bob or move up and down.
Free Waves
Winds that continues to move at it natural speed after its generation by a force.
Long and relatively uniform wind-generated ocean waves that have traveled out of their generating area.
Dispersion (sorting)
sorting of waves as they move out from one storm center; occurs because long-period waves travel faster in deep water than short period.
group speed
speed at which wave energy is transported away from its source under deep water conditions.
Storm Center
Area of origin for surface waves generated by the wind; an intense atmospheric low-pressure system. Waves flow in a cirular patter and move outward away from the storm in all directions.
What is he difference in the speed of deep water waves?

For deep-water waves, the speed of energy propagation is different than the speed of the wave crests and troughs.

Shallow Water Wave

Whent he waves enters water with a depth of less than 1/20th of the wavelength. 



episodic waves
An abnormally high wave that occurs because of a combination of intersceting wave trains, changing depths and currents.
Wave Steepness
Ratio of wave height to wavlength.
Bending of waves because of variation in wave speed
Process that transmits energy literally along a wave crest.
Rip Currents
strong surface current flowing seaward from shore; the return movement of water piled up on the shore by incoming waves and wind.
Tsunami (sesmic sea wave)
Long period sea wave produced by a submarine earthquake, volcanic eruption, sediment slide, or seafloor faulting. It may travel across the ocean for thousands of miles unnoticed from its point of origin and build up to great heights over shallow water the shore.
Potential Energy
Due to the change in elevation of the surface water.
Kinetic Energy
Due to the motion of the wave particles.
During wave refraction, wave rays bend…
in regions of low wave velocity.
Sea surface water wave that has become too steep to be stable and collapses. (plungers- form on narrow steep beach slopes and spillers- form over wider, flatter beaches energy is extracted more gradually)
Internal wave
wave created below the sea surface at the boundary between two density layers
Standing Wave
Type of wave in whcih the surface of the water oscillates vertically between fixed points called nodes, without progression; the points of mximum vertical rise and fall are called antinodes.
point of least or zero vertical motion in a standing wave.
portion of standing wave with maximum vertical motion.
Standing wave oscillation of an enclosed or semienclosed body of water that continues, pendulum fashion, after the generating force ceases.
Diurnal Tide (declinational tide)
Tide with one high water and one low water each tidal day.
Semidiurnal Tide
Tide with two high waters and two low waters each tidal day.
Semidiurnal mixed tide
Type of tide in which large inwqualities between the two high waters and the two low waters occur in a tidal day.
Tidal Datum
Mean low water; zero depth reference
High water
the greatest height to which a tide rises on any day.
Low Water
The lowest point to which a tide drops
Flood Tide
A rising tide
Ebb tide
A falling tide
tidal currents
currents associated with rising and falling coastal waters
Slack water
A period where the tide turens or changes from an ebb tide to a flood tide or vice versa. Current become slow and then reverses.
Equilibrium Tidal Theory
Tides are conisdered as ideal waves behaving uniformly in response to the laws of physics.
centripetal force
the gravitational force of the Sun or Moon that holds the Earth in orbit. It is a constant.
How long is a tidal day?
24 hours and fifteen minutes. Motion of the Moon around the Earth.
tide wave
long-period gravity wave that has it’s origin in the tide-producing force and is observed as the rise and fall of the tide. A tide waves is about 12 hours and 45 minutes.
Spring Tide
Tides occurring near the times of the new and full Moon, when the range of the tide is greatest.
Neap Tides
Tides occurring near the times of the first and last quarters of the moon, when the range of the tide is the least.
Forced Wave
A wave generated by a continuously acting force and caused to move at a speed faster than it freely travels.
Free Wave
a wave that continues to move at its natural spped after its generation by a force.
Progressive Tide
tide wave moving across the sea surface like shallow water
Cotidal lines
lines drawn on a chart to mark the location of the tide crest at set time intervals generally one hour apart.
Rotary Standing Tide
Tide that is a result of a standing wave moving around the central node of a basin.
Amphidromic point
point from which cotidal lines radiate on a chart; the nodal, or low-amplitude, point for a rotary tide.
cornage lines
in a rotary tide, lines of equal tidal range about the amphidromic point.
tidal bore
high-tide crest that advances rapidly up an estuary or river as a breaking wave.
Why do some regions have 2 high tides per day and other regions have one high tide per day?
Because the Earth turns once per day beneath two water bulges on opposite sides of the Earth, which are caused by the excess lunar gravitational and centrifugal forces.
having low oxygen levels in the water; organisms may find survival in a hypoxic environment difficult or impossible.
the portion of any catch or harvest taken in addition to the targeted species.
Pelagic Zone
water environment
Benthic zone
seafloor environment
neritic zone
shallow-water marine environment extending from low water to the edge of the continental shelf.
oceanic zone
open ocean away from the direct influence of land.
scientific classification of organisms. (Three domains of life: Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya)
organism with a body temperature that varies according to the temperature of its surroundings
organism with a body temperature that varies only within a narrow limits.
oxidation of organic matter to CO2 to drive energy
occurs when oxygen concentrations reach 0 mg/L.
occurs when oxygen concentrations fall below about 2 mg/L.
organism that survives in anoxic conditions because it doesn’t rely on oxygen to oxidize organic mater for energy. They use other oxidizing agents such as NO3- or SO4-.
one organism benefits and the other is not affected
e.g. barnacles living on whales
both participants benefit
e.g. the clownfish and anemones
one organism benefits at the expense of the other
e.g. parasitic worms found in most fish.
Marine ecology
the study of interactions between organisms and the environment.
passively drifting or weakly swimming organisms.
Pelagic animals that are active swimmers; for example, adult squid, fish, and marine animals.
organisms living on or in the ocean bottom
aphotic zone
that part of the ocean in which light is insufficient to carry on photosynthesis.
production of light by liviing organisms as a result of a chemical reaction either within certain cells or organs or outside the cells in some form of excretion.
Base on which an organism lives; Provides food, shelter, and a place for attachment; Greatest variability along coastal areas
on surface of sea floor (crabs, mussels)
burrow and live in sediments (clams)
Primary Production
amount of living matter or biomass, that is produced by photosynthesis or chemosythetic organisms, usually expressed in grams of carbon per volume of sea water.
metabolic process by which food or food storage molecules produce the energy on which all living cells depend.
standing crop
Total plant biomass per unit area or unit volume
What is the net primary production equal to?
Primary production minus the part that is broken down during plant respiration.
When new marine phytoplankton biomass is produced by photosynthesis, dissolved carbon dioxide is converted to…
organic carbon compounds.
How is primary production in upwelling areas?
Most productive but smallest area
How is primary production in the open ocean?
Least productive, but largest area; As productive as deserts on land
How is primary production in coastal areas?
Intermediate productivity and area
What is primary production like in estuaries
As productive as the most heavily cultivated areas on land
formation of organic compounds with energy derived from inorganic substances such as ammonia, methane, sulfur, and hydrogen.
What are the levels of the trophic pyramid?
First trophic level (producers)
Second trophic level (herbivores)
Upper trophic levels (carnivores)
nitrogen fixation
Process of using nitrogen gas as a source of inorganic nitrogen.
“grasses of the sea;” Use solar energy to generate oxygen and organic food (photosynthesis); Form the base of most food webs
Unicellular and multicellular forms; Eat other organisms
Diverse roles in marine ecosystems; composed of members of the domains Bacteria and Archea
cell wall of diatoms ( diatoms possess pigments and different types of chlorophyll)
naked cell of a diatom, which grows to full size and forms new siliceous covering.
spend their entire lives as plankton
only plankton for a portion of their lives – includes eggs, larvae, and juveniles of many species
micro-organisms that thrive under conditions that would be fatal to other life forms.
non-cellular particle made up of genetic material surrounded by a protein coat; Successful parasites that replicate inside a host cell; Highly abundant in marine waters
Viral infections reduce primary productivity
Animals swimming freely.
Characterized by four swimming flippers; Sea Lions and Lions
sea cows
large hebivores; marine mammal of tropical and subtropical waters; Manatees and dugongs