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Hydrosphere Study Questions. E 1.1 & E 1.2. Why is freshwater in short supply on Earth? ________________________________________ A. Most of it is frozen. B. Most of it is polluted. C. Most of it is in the atmosphere. D. Most of it is trapped underground.

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Why is freshwater in short supply on Earth?


A. Most of it is frozen.

B. Most of it is polluted.

C. Most of it is in the atmosphere.

D. Most of it is trapped underground.


Which is the most abundant freshwater resource in North Carolina?


A. estuaries

B. icebergs

C. oceans

D. rivers


Where is the majority of Earth’s freshwater found?


A. polar ice caps

B. rivers

C. ponds

D. lakes


Of the 74% of Earth’s surface that is covered in water, which contains the most water?


A. lakes

B. rivers

C. oceans

D. streams


Which would most likely affect the amount of water in a lake used to supply drinking water to the nearby city?


A. a factory releasing chemicals into the lake

B. long-term water shortage in the area of the lake

C. use of the lake for recreational purposes

D. amount of sediment in the lake


The drain in a sink would represent which part of a river basin?


A. water flowing into the ocean

B. a mountain stream

C. river rapids

D. a meander


Which statement best compares the amount of water present on Earth today with the amount present millions of years ago?


A. There is slightly more water on Earth today.

B. There is significantly less water on Earth today.

C. There is significantly more water on Earth today.

D. There is about the same amount of water on Earth today.


Where is most of Earth’s available freshwater stored?


A. underground

B. the atmosphere

C. lakes and rivers

D. ice caps and glaciers


Which would be the best way for humans to conserve large amounts of water during a drought?


A. install high-flow toilets

B. bathe only once a week

C. limit drinking water in restaurants

D. limit use of outdoor sprinkler systems


Which is most likely the largest contributor to a decrease in North Carolina’s water availability?


A. evaporation

B. global warming

C. increase in population

D. expansion of agricultural areas


Approximately what percentage of the hydrosphere is represented by the oceans on Earth?


A. 30%

B. 70%

C. 87%

D. 97%


Which best explains why so little of the water on Earth is available for human use?


A. 97% of total water on Earth is freshwater, and most of the remaining 3% is salt water in the ocean basins.

B. 97% of total water on Earth is salt water, and most of the remaining 3% is freshwater frozen in ice caps and glaciers.

C. 97% of total water on Earth is freshwater, and most of the remaining 3% is salt water found in underground aquifers.

D. 97% of total water on Earth is salt water, and most of the remaining 3% is freshwater found in lakes, rivers, and ponds.


Which best describes the process of evapotranspiration in the water cycle?


A. Water from the ocean enters the atmosphere as water vapor.

B. Water on the surface of Earth enters the groundwater supply.

C. Water vapor in the atmosphere returns to the surface of Earth as liquid water.

D. Water on the surface of Earth and water lost by plants enters the atmosphere as water vapor.


Which will most likely happen if a higher percentage of water is located in the ground than in the oceans?


A. Water will become less polluted.

B. Water will become more polluted.

C. Water will take less time to complete the water cycle.

D. Water will take more time to complete the water cycle.


An area that uses a reservoir is suffering from a drought. Which best explains why water authorities would continue to release water into a river basin from the reservoir?


A. The flowing water keeps the river basin healthy.

B. People along the river need the water for recreational activities.

C. It will prevent flooding along the river basin in case of heavy rainfalls.

D. The extra water is needed for irrigation on the farms bordering the river.


A family living in a house needs to dig a new well before they will have usable water. Several options for the well location are shown in the diagram below.

Which location would be the best choice for the new well?


A. Q

B. R

C. S

D. T


Which best describes 97% of the Earth’s water?

A. It is stored in aquifers.

B. It is stored in polar ice caps.

C. It exists in the form of fresh groundwater.

D. It exists in the form of saltwater in the ocean.


Which best explains why the water cycle mostly occurs over the oceans?

A. Most of Earth’s water is located in the oceans.

B. Salt water evaporates more quickly than freshwater.

C. The temperatures over the oceans are cooler than over land.

D. The temperatures over the oceans are warmer than over land.


Which best describes how groundwater is obtained from an aquifer?

A. by pumping water into a river basin

B. by drilling a well below the water table

C. by digging into unsaturated flood zones

D. by extracting large amounts of minerals


Which best explains how a watershed compares to a river basin?

A. A watershed is a ridge of land separating bodies of water, and a river basin flows over the ground surface like runoff.

B. A watershed is a river connecting to a larger river, and a river basin is a land area supplying water to the watershed.

C. A watershed is a land area supplying water to small rivers, and a river basin is comprised of many interconnected watersheds and their tributaries.

D. A watershed flows over the ground surface as runoff, and a river basin is a layer of permeable rock and soil in which water fills the cracks and pores.


Which best explains how estuaries support plant and animal life?


A. The dry land removes pollutants.

B. The water provides energy for growth.

C. The habitat areas provide nutrients and shelter.

D. The cold temperatures decrease dissolved oxygen.


Which best describes a significant benefit estuaries have on the environment?


A. Wildlife helps protect the land from erosion in estuaries.

B. Fishing industries thrive in and around tropical estuaries.

C. Pollution is moved from rivers to oceans through estuaries.

D. Coastal wetlands provide safe and ideal conditions to support animal habitats.


Which is least often used to study the deepest parts of the ocean floor?


A. sonar

B. satellites

C. scuba divers

D. submersibles


The diagram below shows the zones of the ocean.

Which ocean zone contains hydrothermal vents?


A. deep zone

B. surface zone

C. shallow zone

D. intertidal zone


Bluefin tuna has become the most popular fish for sushi in Japan. Which is most likely the impact this has had on the species?


A. Bluefin numbers are decreasing.

B. Bluefin numbers are increasing.

C. All Bluefin are now raised on farms.

D. There has been no impact on the species.


What is the movement of cold, nutrient-rich waters from the bottom of the ocean, promoting algae growth?


A. upwelling

B. deposition

C. precipitation

D. eutrophication


Which area of deep ocean research provides the most economic benefit?


A. hydropower

B. new habitats

C. oil resources

D. sea-floor spreading


In which ocean zone is ocean temperature most affected by the weather?


A. deep zone

B. polar zone

C. surface zone

D. transition zone


Why is upwelling in the ocean essential for some organisms to survive?


A. because many animals need low-tide conditions each day

B. because currents carry predators away from the surface

C. because the warm water kills bacteria before it can harm plankton

D. because needed nutrients and dissolved gases are brought into new areas


Which best illustrates how aquatic and terrestrial food webs are interconnected?


A. Sharks eat smaller fish in the ocean.

B. Algal blooms feed the fish populations.

C. Phytoplankton use sunlight to produce food.

D. Red tide in the sea poisons land plants and animals.


Scientists have found strange new life-forms called “tubeworms” on the deep ocean bottom. Which most likely provides energy for the tubeworms?


A. algae

B. small fish

C. photosynthesis

D. hydrothermal vents


How does oceanic upwelling promote the growth of microscopic plankton?


A. They bring warmer water to the surface of the ocean.

B. They bring dissolved nutrients to the surface of the ocean.

C. They decrease the levels of oxygen at the surface of the ocean.

D. They decrease the amount of nutrients at the surface of the ocean.


How does upwelling generally affect the dissolving of gases in ocean water?


A. Cooler water increases the amount of gas dissolved.

B. Cooler water decreases the amount of gas dissolved.

C. Warmer water increases the amount of gas dissolved.

D. Warmer water decreases the amount of gas dissolved.


How is sonar used to map the surface of the ocean floor?


A. Light waves are used to take pictures of the ocean floor.

B. Various temperatures are measured to determine the depth of the ocean floor.

C. Scuba divers take videos and photographs to document their trips to the ocean floor.

D. Sound waves are emitted and bounced off the ocean floor to determine the distance from the receiver.


Which most likely causes the western coast of the United States to be so plentiful and diverse in sea life?



B. upwelling

C. water runoff

D. offshore winds


Which best explains how the levels of nutrients, minerals, and dissolved gases in an estuary compare to those in surrounding bodies of water?


A. The levels vary depending on the ocean that connects to it.

B. The levels are lower in the estuary than in the river that connects to it.

C. The levels vary depending on the river and the ocean that connect to it.

D. The levels are higher in the estuary than in the ocean that connects to it.


Which best explains why there is a greater concentration of oxygen located near the ocean’s surface?


A. Sunlight warms the ocean’s temperature and stimulates oxygen production near the surface.

B. Plankton produces excess amounts of nutrients that remove oxygen levels from the atmosphere.

C. Marine life gives off oxygen instead of carbon dioxide, which makes the ocean water rich in oxygen.

D. Plants, which release oxygen, live near the surface of the ocean, where they receive large amounts of sunlight.


Which evidence best supports that there are a variety of nutrients in Earth’s oceans?


A. Coral can be found in warm waters.

B. Freshwater rivers drain into Earth’s oceans.

C. Some marine organisms migrate with the seasons.

D. A wide range of organisms is sustained in Earth’s oceans.


To which condition do all species in the ocean depths have to adapt?


A. lower salinity

B. extreme pressure

C. swift ocean currents

D. hot water temperature


How does upwelling in the ocean affect algae populations in the area?


A. The algae population grows slowly and forces marine life to move out to sea.

B. The current produced by the upwelling forces the algae population to relocate.

C. The algae population becomes depleted as a result of colder water temperatures.

D. The nutrients supplied as a result of the upwelling cause algae to become abundant.


Organisms that live in an intertidal zone must be able to tolerate which changes to survive?


A. changes in temperature but not salinity

B. changes in salinity but not temperature

C. changes in both temperature and salinity

D. changes in neither salinity nor temperature


Why are many fishing boats found near ocean upwellings?


A. There is less vegetation there.

B. The water is less turbulent there.

C. Many marine species gather there to eat the nutrients brought to the surface.

D. Upwellings are found in more shallow waters, so boats do not need deep anchorage.


In which location would fishermen most likely catch a greater number of fish?


A. at the shoreline

B. in an upwelling

C. in the intertidal zone

D. on the deep-ocean floor


Which is the main source of dissolved oxygen in the ocean?


A. underwater earthquakes

B. decay of living organisms

C. animals that live near the surface

D. plants and algae that live near the surface


Which hazard must submersible vehicles overcome while exploring and studying the deep ocean zone?


A. high waves

B. increased salinity

C. high water pressure

D. underwater mountain ranges


Which best describes the shallow water ocean zone?


A. The long water column protects small organisms from being eaten by large predators.

B. Cooler water temperatures cause a decrease in dissolved oxygen needed by organisms.

C. Sunlight penetration increases algae growth and provides food for a variety of organisms.

D. Hydrothermal vents provide heat and dissolved minerals needed by some organisms to survive.


Which is able to give the most detailed information about the topography of a large area on the ocean floor?


A. sonar

B. submersibles

C. satellite imagery

D. teams of scuba divers


Which best describes the types of organisms found in estuaries?


A. They can survive in salt water.

B. They are only found in freshwater.

C. They cannot tolerate brackish water.

D. They tolerate both freshwater and salt water.


Why do large numbers of ocean life-forms live near areas of upwelling?


A. Upwelling brings nutrients to the surface.

B. Upwelling brings warm water to the surface.

C. Upwelling helps push small fish up toward the surface.

D. Upwelling keeps large predator fish away from the surface.


A cargo ship in the open ocean spills thousands of cans of soda off the ship. Which marine ecosystem will primarily be disturbed by this spill?


A. estuary

B. coral reef

C. surface zone

D. hydrothermal vent


In which part of the ocean do the greatest number of organisms live?


A. in the deep zone to escape predators

B. near the shore to burrow in the sand

C. close to the surface to be near the largest food source

D. in the open ocean to regulate their bodies in cooler temperatures


Which organism is at the base of a marine food web?


A. crab

B. phytoplankton

C. whale

D. zooplankton


Which best explains why estuaries are an important habitat for many marine organisms in comparison to the open ocean?


A. There is less food in estuaries.

B. There are more predators in estuaries.

C. There is more salt available in estuaries.

D. There are more nutrients available in estuaries.


The diagram below shows the surface winds and water in a coastal area.

Which best describes this process?


A. density currents

B. down welling

C. spring tide

D. upwelling


How does the amount of salt in the ocean compare to the amount of salt in an estuary?

A. There is more salt in an estuary.

B. There is more salt in the ocean.

C. Neither the ocean nor an estuary contains salt.

D. There is the same amount of salt in both types of waters.


Which best explains why upwellings are beneficial to sea life?

A. They bring warm waters to the surface.

B. They bring needed nutrients to the surface to feed ocean life-forms.

C. They help sea creatures move more quickly through strong currents.

D. They create turbidity currents that muddy the water and hide sea creatures from predators.


Why are remotely operated vehicles more effective for researching deep sea regions than using scuba techniques?

A. Remotely operated vehicles allow divers more flexibility in colder temperatures.

B. Remotely operated vehicles can explore areas that are considered unsafe for humans.

C. Scuba technology has become outdated and costly.

D. Scuba technology is more effective in freshwater.


Which ocean condition is best monitored by satellites placed in Earth’s orbit?

A. algae growth patterns

B. direction of winds

C. ozone layer holes

D. percentage of salinity


Manganese nodules are found 4 m below the ocean surface on the deep ocean floor. Which best describes an efficient way to collect these rich metal deposits?


A. Drag nets across the bottom.

B. Train dolphins to collect the nodules in nets.

C. Use robots with suction cups to collect the nodules.

D. Send divers to the bottom to collect the nodules in a bucket.


What causes upwelling in the oceans?


A. coral reef construction

B. photosynthesis reactions

C. winds and ocean currents

D. animal migration patterns


How is the amount of oxygen in ocean water affected by temperature?


A. The amount of oxygen in ocean water increases as temperature increases.

B. The amount of oxygen in ocean water increases as temperature decreases.

C. The amount of oxygen in ocean water decreases as temperature decreases.

D. The amount of oxygen in ocean water is kept constant as temperature decreases.


Which factors limit the productivity of a marine ecosystem?


A. availability of light and nutrients

B. availability of nutrients and fresh water

C. availability of light and chemosynthetic organisms

D. availability of photosynthetic organisms and fresh water


Which would most likely be discovered by researchers exploring the deep ocean with remotely operated vehicles (ROVs)?


A. new terrestrial species

B. new phytoplankton species

C. new photosynthetic species

D. new chemosynthetic species


Deep ocean technology has discovered organisms in hydrothermal vents that do not rely on sunlight to survive. What do these organisms use as their energy source?


A. chemosynthesis

B. electrical charge

C. hydropower

D. thermal heat


Which provides the largest source of dissolved oxygen in the ocean?


A. coral reefs

B. tidal action

C. algal growth

D. hydrothermal vents


Of the compounds dissolved in ocean water, which is most needed by organisms that live there?


A. carbon dioxide

B. magnesium oxide

C. calcium carbonate

D. elemental nitrogen


Which causes cold ocean water to rise during an upwelling event?


A. motion of organisms

B. deep water currents

C. mass of nutrients

D. surface winds


Which are the most abundant dissolved gases in ocean water?


A. nitrogen and carbon dioxide

B. oxygen and carbon dioxide

C. oxygen and methane

D. nitrogen and sulfide


Scientists use a variety of methods to monitor the ocean. Buoys are used to collect data at the surface. Which is most effective in monitoring large areas of the ocean floor?


A. satellites

B. submarines

C. weather balloons

D. remote-operated vehicles


Which best describes the source of oxygen in ocean water?


A. Oxygen is produced by marine plants in the process of making food.

B. Oxygen is produced through the exhalations of marine animals.

C. Oxygen is produced through precipitation falling on the ocean.

D. Oxygen is produced by nodules on the ocean floor.


Which has deep sea technology helped enhance understanding of the most?


A. chemosynthesis

B. photosynthesis

C. the water cycle

D. the carbon cycle


Which contributes most in supporting life on the deep ocean floor?


A. cold water temperatures

B. extreme water pressure

C. hydrothermal vents

D. lack of predators


Which technology is most efficient in mapping large areas of the ocean floor?


A. sonar

B. robots

C. depth gauge

D. satellite imaging


Which best explains why the diversity and productivity of marine ecosystems is important to the survival of terrestrial organisms?


A. Marine habitats provide humans with a rich source of food and income.

B. Marine habitats provide protection to coastlines and help prevent erosion.

C. Marine habitats host species that comprise the base of the marine food web.

D. Marine habitats support species that serve as animal food and fertilizers for crops.


Which best describes the water distribution in an estuary?


A. The saltwater is closer to the surface than the freshwater.

B. The freshwater is closer to the surface than the saltwater.

C. The saltwater is found closer to the bank, and the freshwater is found closer to the center.

D. The freshwater is found closer to the bank, and the saltwater is found closer to the center.


Why is productivity greatest near the ocean’s surface?


A. More predators live in the top layers of the ocean.

B. Salinity at all layers of the open ocean is fairly consistent.

C. Sunlight penetrates the top layers of the ocean, so photosynthesis occurs there.

D. Nutrients, minerals, and gases are more available to marine life in the bottom layers of the ocean.


What area of the ocean is most benefited by upwelling?


A. the ocean floor

B. the ocean trenches

C. the continental shelf

D. the surface of the ocean


Which is most likely to be the energy source for organisms living in hydrothermal vents?


A. oxygen

B. sunlight

C. methane

D. carbon dioxide


Which best explains the poor productivity of the open ocean?


A. Photosynthesis is reduced because sunlight does not penetrate very deeply.

B. Most of the phytoplankton is found at depths where there is no sunlight penetration.

C. Photosynthesis cannot occur in the phytoplankton because the temperature is too high.

D. Large fish consume most of the phytoplankton, which reduces photosynthetic reactions.


Which best describes the base of the food web in the deep ocean habitat?


A. methane-consuming bacteria

B. oxygen-consuming bacteria

C. saline-consuming bacteria

D. sulfur-consuming bacteria


Which best describes the relationship between salinity levels and the amount of dissolved gases in ocean water?


A. As salinity increases, the amount of dissolved gases increases.

B. As salinity increases, the amount of dissolved gases decreases.

C. As salinity decreases, the amount of dissolved gases decreases.

D. As salinity decreases, the amount of dissolved gases remains the same.