Oceanography 251 Week 1 Notes
Oceanography 251 Week 1 Notes OCNG 251
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Anna Notetaker on Thursday September 1, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to OCNG 251 at Texas A&M University taught by Dr. Benjamin Giese in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 290 views. For similar materials see Oceanography in Science at Texas A&M University.
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Date Created: 09/01/16
Oceanography 251-504 08/29/2016 ▯ 8/29/16 Why study the Oceans? S: climate change? S: oil spills? – P: ocean pollution – plastics, micro-plastics P: overfishing, ocean acidification (fossil fuel, hydrocarbons, releases CO2 -> dissolves into ocean, most CO2 end up in ocean, creates carbonic acid, causes PH to go down) ecosystem destruction (coral reefs, dead zones -> coral bleaching) pollution (ocean pollution, head pollution, plastics, chemicals, fertilizers -> alter ecosystems) climate (ex. 2011) Climate: o A. Was 2011 dry because it was hot? o B. Was it hot because it was dry? o C. Both? o D. Neither? 2011 was a La Nina year ▯ 8/31/16 HBDD Pacific ocean = largest/deepest ocean nd Atlantic ocean = 2 largest/expanding at the expense of the pacific ocean – as a result of plate tectonics Indian ocean = 3 largest/unique because it’s mostly in the southern hemisphere > relevant to the ocean current/geology arctic ocean = smallest/shallowest ocean – largely covered by ice > very highly reflective surface > relevant to climate change – contracting/shrinking rapidly > ex. polar bear picture ‘Southern ocean’ – marginal region that goes around the coast of Antarctica – where water sinks o CLICKER QUESTION: How deep is the ocean (on average?) A. 40m B. 400m C. 4000m D. 40000m E. 400000m CLICKER QUESTION: How wide is an ocean basin? A. 500-1000km B. 5000-10000km C. 500000-1000000 D. 500000-10000000 E. None of the above The aspect of ratio of the oceans: o Depth vs. width o Hypsographic Curve: Provides information about elevation of ocean /distribution between land/oceanography majority of land sits near sea level change sea level by small amounts > it reduces surface area by a lot (shrinks amount of land) ex. exponential decay o oceanic crust vs. continental crust ALL crust = rough, rigid material o Continental crust: Granitic Density = 2.7 gm/cm^3 Older – 4 Billion Years (Earth assumed to be c. 5 billion) Ex. cork o Oceanic crust: Basalt (created from volcanic material, as a result of Earth’s interior) Density = 3 gm/cm^3 AKA: Thinner, and deeper AKA: biggest difference between O. crust and C. crust Relatively young – 200 million years Lower horizon o ^^ = the “WHY” behind oceanic basins “The summit of Mt. Everest is marine limestone” o – John McPhee, Basin and Range o AKA: the material at the absolute bottom of the ocean, can be found at the highest point on Earth… As a result of: Plate Tectonics o the why behind all formations on Earth o what makes the Earth so dynamic o Pangea Plates are continuing to move Continental motion is extremely slow Ex. finger nails growth Evidence claims there have been 5 cycles of coming together/separating 1. Permian 225 million years ago 2. Triassic 200 million years ago 3. Jurassic 135 million years ago 4. Cretaceous 65 million years ago 5. Present Day Every time a cycle occurs: the basalt material is re-integrated into the mantle/next cycle – constantly being recycled the granitic material always stays at the surface History of Discovery of Plate Tectonics: o Alfred Wegener = 1 to propose concept in 1912 o Called it “continental drift” o Concept was resisted up until the 1950’s/accepted by scientific community o Evidence from oceans finally provided for acceptance Evidence: Wegener proposed Pangea – one large continent that existed 200 million years ago Panthalassa – one large ocean Noted puzzle-like fit of modern continents Matching sequences of rocks/mountain chains Similar rock on different continents (fossils??) Glacial ages and other climate evidence Evidence of glaciation in now tropical regions Direction of glacial flow and rock scouring Plant and animal fossils indicate different climate then today Distribution of organisms Same fossils found on continents that today are widely separated Modern organisms with similar ancestries Objections: Hostile criticism and open ridicule “what is pushing these continents?” “would take too much energy that just doesn’t exist” Continents cannot plow through ocean basins Tidal gravitational attractions too small ▯ ▯
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