OCEANOGRAPHY

  1. Plate Tectonics
  • Imagine that you have taken a time machine back to the early 1900s and are meeting
    Alfred Wagner for lunch. He is very depressed because almost no one believes his theory of
    continental drift. Explain to him how science in the decades after his death will confirm his
    theory and expand it into the larger theory of plate tectonics. In your explanation to him, be sure
    to explain: Key discoveries about the ocean floor that happened since his day. (Note: in
    Wagener’s day, almost nothing was known about the ocean floor. Think about how that later
    changed and how it relates to continental drift.) And evidence that proves that the seafloor
    spreads and that the earth’s surface is divided up into moving plates. (Hint: this evidence includes
    paleomagnetism, the age of the seafloor. heat flow, and earthquakes.)
  1. THE ORIGIN and PROPERTIES of Water
  • What processes do scientists think occurred early in the Earth’s history that produced the
    Earth’s water, including what oceans ?
  • Water (H20) is a polar molecule. what does this mean, and what effects does water’s polarity
    have on its properties?
  • What is salinity, and what processes control ocean waters salinity (that is, cause salinity to go
    up or down)?
  1. OCEAN CIRCULATION
  • The circulation of the oceans is driven by two main processes: 1) The prevailing surface
    winds, 2. Differences in density between various water masses. The Coriolis effect also
    includes the movement of ocean currents. Use these concepts to explain: The movement
    of surface currents particularly the subtropical gyres and The moments of deep
    (thermohaline) Ocean currents and the concept of “conveyor belt circulation”
  1. COASTLINES & SOCIETY
    ● evaluate the effects of ways on the moving of beach sand and the resulting size of the
    beach. Include in your discussion, 1. an explanation of seasonal changes in the size of the
    beach 2. An explanation of longshore drift and 3. Two examples of how human activities
    can affect the size of the beach.
  2. PRIMARY PRODUCTIVITY
    Why is the primary productivity in some ocean areas and low in others? In your answer:
    ● identify areas of the ocean have generally high productivity versus generally low
    productivity
    ● Evaluate the reasons for those differences in productivity based on factors such as the
    strength of the thermocline, seasonal changes in sunlight levels and presence of
    upwelling or downwelling.
  3. ADAPTATIONS OF MARINE LIFE
  • One theme runs consistently to chapters 1415 to teach how to discuss the major types of
    pelagic and benthic animals. That theme is “adaptation”. Rain at sea in the general theme
    how marine animals are adapted to their environment using at least 3 specific examples.
    In other words from the many examples describing his two chapters pick three key
    adaptations (physical features and or behavior strategies) of marine animals that, to you,
    illustrate particularly well this theme of adaptation. Spread your examples around: don’t
    limit your examples to fish or cetaceans, but include at least one example from the
    benthic invertebrate animals.

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