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PCS Earth Science

Chapter 15 Vocabulary - Oceanography

TermDefinition
oceanography study of Earth's oceans
side-scan sonar a technique that directs sound waves to the sea floor at an angle, so that the sides of underwater hills and other topographic features can be mapped
sea level ultimate base level; the average level of the ocean's surface at any given time
salinity the total amount of dissolved salts in a water sample
temperature profile plots changing ocean water temperatures against depth, which varies, depending on location and season
thermocline a layer in a large body of water, such as a lake, that sharply separates regions differing in temperature, so that the temperature gradient across the layer is abrupt (upper layer mixed by wind - epilimnion, deep layer not mixed - hypolimnion)
wave horizontal distance between the crests or between the troughs of two adjacent waves
crest highest point of a wave
trough lowest point of a wave
breaker collapsing ocean wave that forms in shallow water and breads onto the shore
tide the periodic rise and fall of the level of water in the ocean
density current circulation pattern in the ocean that forms when a mass of more dense seawater sinks beneath less dense seawater
surface current a horizontal movement of ocean water that is caused by wind and that occurs at or near the ocean's surface
upwelling the movement of deep, cold, and nutrient-rich water to the surface
Created by: Ms.Sala