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Oceanography 251 Week 1 Notes

by: Anna Notetaker

Oceanography 251 Week 1 Notes OCNG 251

Marketplace > Texas A&M University > Science > OCNG 251 > Oceanography 251 Week 1 Notes
Anna Notetaker
Texas A&M
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Oceanography 251 Week 1 Notes: Introduction to: Ratio of the Oceans Hypsographic Curve Plate Tectonics Includes clicker questions!
Dr. Benjamin Giese
Class Notes
intro to oceanography




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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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