The worlds oceans can be divided into five primary bodies.
also called oceanology or marine science , is the branch of Earth science that studies the ocean.
Oceanography is an interdisciplinary science that draws on geology, chemistry, physics, and biology to study all aspects of the worlds oceans.
Almost 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered with water
The Ocean Floor… Deep sea floor, at depths below 4000 meters, accounts for 30% of the earth’s surface Dark, deep, hot vents of boiling water, dangerous gases..... And miles of flat abyss..
The ocean floor is nearly as varied as the land surface
Marked with distinctive features such as plateaus, trenches, mountain ranges, and volcanic peaks
A sound (ping) is emitted and while traveling through water, will reflect off of any solid surface it encounters
By measuring the time it takes for the ping to travel and be reflected, while noting the speed of sound in water (~1,500 meters per second), a picture of the ocean can be derived
1.High-resolution images can be obtained
by using hull-mounted sound sources that
send out pings in a fan shape swath
2. The resulting reflections are then recorded through a set of receivers
3. Can acquire a swath tens of kilometers
wide and depths can be distinguished up
to a meter
Ocean Floor Provinces
Oceanographers have delineated three primary oceanographic units (provinces)
The continental margin, between the continental shelf and the abyssal plain, comprises a steep continental slope followed by the flatter continental rise. Sediment from the continent above cascades down the slope and accumulates as a pile of sediment at the base of the slope, called the continental rise
Key components of the continental margin
shallow, submerged edge of the continent.
A gently sloping submerged surface
extending from the shore to the deep ocean basin
Underlain by continental crust and recognized as a flooded extension of a continent
Varies in width
From a few miles to ~900 miles wide
Average ~50 miles
is the extended perimeter of each continent and associated coastal plain, and was part of the continent during the glacial periods, but is undersea during interglacial periods such as the current epoch by relatively shallow seas (known as shelf seas ) and gulfs.
the name continental shelf was given a legal definition as the stretch of the seabed adjacent to the shores of a particular country to which it belongs. Such shores are also known as Territorial waters .
abrupt transition from continental shelf to the continental slope.
the transition between the continental shelf and the deep-ocean floor.
A continental slope is typically about 20 km (12.4 mi) wide, consists of mud and silts, and is often crosscut by submarine canyons.
The world’s combined continental slope has a total length of approximately 300,000 km (200,000 miles) and descends at an average angle in excess of 4° from the shelf break at the edge of the continental shelf to the beginning of the ocean basins at depths of 100 to 3,200 metres (330 to 10,500 feet).
accumulated sediment found at the base of the continental slope.
Sediment from the continent above cascades down the slope and accumulates as a pile of sediment at the base of the slope
Extending as far as 500 km from the slope, it consists of thick sediments deposited by turbidity currents from the shelf and slope.
the continental rise's gradient is intermediate between the slope and the shelf, on the order of 0.5-1°.
Formed by water erosion and / or turbidity currents.
a steep-sided valley on the sea floor of the continental slope
Canyons cutting the continental slopes have been found at depths greater than 2 km below sea level.
Two primary types of continental margins
Occur where oceanic crust is being sub ducted beneath the edge of a continent.
Associated with earthquakes and volcanic activity
Characterized by a narrow band of highly deformed sediment
Common around the Pacific Rim
Typically parallel to ocean trenches
Found along most coastal areas bordering the Atlantic Ocean
Not associated with any plate boundary
Little to no earthquake and volcanic activity
Characterized by weathered materials deposited by rivers to form a thick, broad wedge of relatively undisturbed sediment