The marine environment
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The Marine Environment. Exploration of the Ocean. Oceanography: Oceanographers: study the ocean & its floor up to 6.4 km into the ocean floor Ocean floor: is made up of continental & oceanic crust Submersibles: underwater research vessels Help oceanographers study the ocean depths

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The Marine Environment

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The marine environment

The Marine Environment

Exploration of the ocean

Exploration of the Ocean

  • Oceanography:

    • Oceanographers: study the ocean & its floor up to 6.4 km into the ocean floor

      • Ocean floor: is made up of continental & oceanic crust

  • Submersibles: underwater research vessels

    • Help oceanographers study the ocean depths

    • Bathysphere: early type of submersible used for deep-ocean diving

      • Remained connected to the research ship for communication & life support



  • Bathyscaph: self-propelled, free-moving submarine used for deep-ocean diving

    • Can hold one pilot & 2 scientists

    • Has made new discoveries where life was thought to be non-existant

  • Robot submersibles: enable oceanographers to study the ocean at great depths & long periods of time

Sonar so und n avigation a nd r anging

SONAR:SOundNavigation And Ranging

  • Aid in mapping the ocean floor

  • Consists of transmitter & receiver

  • Sound waves are sent out, bounce off ocean floor & are reflected back to receiver



Features of the ocean floor

Features of the Ocean Floor

  • Continental Margins: shallower portions of the ocean floor with thick wedge of sediments

    • Continental Shelf: shallow water at the edge of continents & ocean boundary

      • Affected by the rise & fall of sea level

    • Continental Slope: steeper slope of the seaward edge of a continental shelf

      • Boundary between continental & oceanic crusts

      • Submarine Canyon: feature carved into continental slope by fast moving currents

Continental margin

Continental Margin

Features of the ocean floor1

Features of the Ocean Floor

  • Deep Ocean Basin: oceanic crust with a thin layer of sediment

    • Trenches: long, narrow deepest features on Earth’s surface

    • Abyssal Plain: extremely vast flat areas where the ocean depth is greater than 4 km

      • Covers about ½ the deep ocean basin

    • Mid-Ocean Ridges: continuous series of underwater mountain ranges that run along the ocean floors

      • Form when plates pull away from each other

    • Sea Mounts: submerged volcanic mountains at least 1000 m high

      • General associated with hot spots

      • If above earth’s surface they form islands (Hawaii)

      • Guyot/Tablemount: volcanic mountain with a flat top

Deep ocean basins

Deep Ocean Basins

Shoreline features

Shoreline Features

  • Beach: Area in which sediment is deposited along the shore

    • Beaches and shorelines are constantly undergoing changes as waves and currents act on them

  • Formation beaches and their features is caused by wave refraction: the bending of waves when they reach shallow water

Features of depositional shores

Features of depositional shores

  • Spit

  • Tombolo

  • Barrier island

Figure 10-7

Depositional features

Depositional Features

  • Spit: long narrow accumulation of sand with one end attached to the land and the other extending into the sea

  • Tombolo: an island is attached to the mainland by a narrow piece of land such as a spit

  • Barrier Island: long ridge of sand or other sediment deposited or shaped by currents separated from mainland

Barrier island new jersey

Barrier island, New Jersey

Figure 10-9c

Features of erosional shores

Features of erosional shores

  • Headland

  • Sea arch

  • Sea stack

Figure 10-4

Erosional features

Erosional Features

  • Headland: land, high and with a sheer drop, that extends out into a body of water

  • Sea Arch: opening eroded out of a cliff face

  • Sea Stack: blocks of rock isolated from the land by sea. Sea stacks begin as part of a headland. Erosion by waves erodes the softer, weaker parts of a rock first, leaving harder, more resistant rock behind

Sea stack and sea arch oregon

Sea stack and sea arch, Oregon

Protective structures

Protective Structures

  • Seawalls: built parallel to shore

  • Groins & Jetties: wall like structures built into the water perpendicular to the shoreline in order to trap beach sand

  • Breakwaters: built parallel to shoreline in water in front of beach

Ocean resources

Ocean Resources

  • Fresh water

    • Needed throughout the world

    • Possible to make through distillation, freezing, & reverse osmosis

  • Minerals

    • Nodules taken from deep ocean for making steel & other resources

    • Petroleum is the most valuable mineral taken from ocean

Ocean resources1

Ocean Resources

  • Food

    • Aquaculture: farming of the ocean

    • Now restricted into zones for farming, fishing, recreation, & no touch-no take

  • Ocean-Water Pollution

    • Becoming more dangerous as we use harsh chemicals & dump them into the ocean

    • BP oil spill controversy estimated between 90-180 million gallons of oil

    • Plastic bottles and bags in oceans

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