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Chapter
1010
Ocean Water and
Ocean Life
Salinity
15.1 The Composition of Seawater
 Salinity is the total amount of solid material
dissolved in water.
 Because the proportion of dissolved
substances in seawater is such a small
number, oceanographers typically express
salinity in parts per thousands.
 Most of the salt in seawater is sodium
chloride, common table salt.
Salinity
15.1 The Composition of Seawater
 Sources of Sea Salt
• Chemical weathering of rocks on the continents
is one source of elements found in seawater.
• The second major source of elements found in
seawater is from Earth’s interior.
Salts in Seawater
Salinity
 Processes Affecting Salinity
15.1 The Composition of Seawater
• Processes that decrease salinity:
• Processes that increase salinity:
- Precipitation
- Runoff from land
- Icebergs melting
- Sea ice melting
- Evaporation
- Formation of sea ice
Natural Processes Affecting Salinity
Ocean Temperature Variation
 The ocean’s surface water temperature
varies with the amount of solar radiation
received, which is primarily a function of
latitude.
15.1 The Composition of Seawater
• The thermocline is the layer of ocean water
between about 300 meters and 1000 meters where
there is a rapid change of temperature with depth.
 Temperature Variation with Depth
• The thermocline is a very important structure
because it creates a barrier to marine life.
Variations in Ocean
Surface Temperature
Variations in Ocean
Water Temperature
Ocean Density Variation
 Density is defined as mass per unit volume.
It can be thought of as a measure of how
heavy something is for its size.
15.1 The Composition of Seawater
• Seawater density is influenced by two main
factors: salinity and temperature.
 Factors Affecting Seawater Density
Ocean Density Variation
 Density Variation with Depth
15.1 The Composition of Seawater
• The pycnocline is the layer of ocean water
between about 300 meters and 1000 meters
where there is a rapid change of density with
depth.
Variations in Ocean
Water Density
Ocean Layering
 Oceanographers generally recognize a
three-layered structure in most parts of the
open ocean: a shallow surface mixed zone,
a transition zone, and a deep zone.
15.1 The Composition of Seawater
 Surface Zone
• Sun-warmed zone
• Zone of mixing
• Shallow (300 to 450 meters)
Ocean Layering
 Transition Zone
15.1 The Composition of Seawater
 Deep Zone
• Constant high-density water
• Temperatures are just a few degrees above
freezing.
• Sunlight never reaches this zone.
• Thermocline and pycnocline
• Between surface layer and deep zone
Ocean Zones
Classification of Marine Organisms
 Marine organisms can be classified
according to where they live and how they
move.
15.2 The Diversity of Ocean Life
 Plankton
• Plankton include all organisms—algae, animals,
and bacteria—that drift with ocean currents.
• Phytoplankton are algal plankton, which are the
most important community of primary producers
in the ocean.
• Zooplankton are animal plankton.
Plankton
Classification of Marine Organisms
 Nekton
15.2 The Diversity of Ocean Life
 Benthos
• Nekton include all animals capable of moving
independently of the ocean currents, by
swimming or other means of propulsion.
• Benthos describes organisms living on or in the
ocean bottom.
Nekton
Benthos
Marine Life Zones
 Three factors are used to divide the ocean
into distinct marine life zones: the
availability of sunlight, the distance from
shore, and the water depth.
15.2 The Diversity of Ocean Life
 Availability of Sunlight
• The photic zone is the upper part of the ocean
into which sunlight penetrates.
Marine Life Zones
 Distance from Shore
15.2 The Diversity of Ocean Life
• The intertidal zone is the strip of land where the
land and ocean meet and overlap, or the zone
between high and low tides.
• The neritic zone is the marine-life zone that
extends from the low-tide line out to the shelf
break.
• The oceanic zone is the marine-life zone
beyond the continental shelf.
Marine Life Zones
Marine Life Zones
 Water Depth
15.2 The Diversity of Ocean Life
• The pelagic zone is open zone of any depth.
Animals in this zone swim or float freely.
• The benthic zone is the marine-life zone that
includes any sea-bottom surface regardless of
its distance from shore.
• The abyssal zone is a subdivision of the benthic
zone characterized by extremely high pressures,
low temperatures, low oxygen, few nutrients,
and no sunlight.
Marine Life Zones
 Hydrothermal Vents
15.2 The Diversity of Ocean Life
• Here seawater seeps into the ocean floor
through cracks in the crust.
• At some vents, water temperatures of 100o
C or
higher support communities of organisms found
nowhere else in the world.
Hydrothermal Vents
Tube Worms Found Along
Hydrothermal Vents
Primary Productivity
 Primary productivity is the production of
organic compounds from inorganic
substances through photosynthesis or
chemosynthesis.
15.3 Oceanic Productivity
 Photosynthesis is the use of light energy
to convert water and carbon dioxide into
energy-rich glucose molecules.
 Chemosynthesis is the process by which
certain microorganisms create organic
molecules from inorganic nutrients using
chemical energy.
Productivity in the Barents Sea
Primary Productivity
 Productivity in Polar Oceans
15.3 Oceanic Productivity
• The low availability of solar energy limits
photosynthetic productivity in polar areas.
 Productivity in Tropical Oceans
• Productivity in tropical regions is limited by the
lack of nutrients.
Water Layers in the Tropics
Primary Productivity
 Productivity in Temperate Oceans
15.3 Oceanic Productivity
• In temperate regions, which are found at mid-
latitudes, a combination of these two limiting
factors, sunlight and nutrient supply, controls
productivity.
• Winter
- Days are short and sun angle is low.
- Low productivity
Productivity in Northern Hemisphere,
Temperate Oceans
Primary Productivity
 Productivity in Temperate Oceans
15.3 Oceanic Productivity
• Summer
- Phytoplankton population remains relatively
low.
- Strong thermocline develops so surface
nutrients are not replaced from below.
- Productivity is limited.
• Spring
- Spring bloom of phytoplankton is quickly
depleted.
Oceanic Feeding Relationships
 Trophic Levels
15.3 Oceanic Productivity
• A trophic level is a nourishment level in a food
chain. Plant and algae producers constitute the
lowest level, followed by herbivores and a series
of carnivores at progressively higher levels.
• The transfer of energy between trophic levels is
very inefficient.
 Transfer Efficiency
Oceanic Feeding Relationships
 Food Chains and Food Webs
15.3 Oceanic Productivity
• A food chain is a sequence of organisms
through which energy is transferred, starting with
the primary producer.
• Animals that feed through a food web rather than
a food chain are more likely to survive because
they have alternative foods to eat should one of
their food sources diminish or disappear.
• A food web is a group of interrelated food
chains.
Food Chains and Webs

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Ocean Water and Ocean Life

  • 2. Salinity 15.1 The Composition of Seawater  Salinity is the total amount of solid material dissolved in water.  Because the proportion of dissolved substances in seawater is such a small number, oceanographers typically express salinity in parts per thousands.  Most of the salt in seawater is sodium chloride, common table salt.
  • 3. Salinity 15.1 The Composition of Seawater  Sources of Sea Salt • Chemical weathering of rocks on the continents is one source of elements found in seawater. • The second major source of elements found in seawater is from Earth’s interior.
  • 5. Salinity  Processes Affecting Salinity 15.1 The Composition of Seawater • Processes that decrease salinity: • Processes that increase salinity: - Precipitation - Runoff from land - Icebergs melting - Sea ice melting - Evaporation - Formation of sea ice
  • 7. Ocean Temperature Variation  The ocean’s surface water temperature varies with the amount of solar radiation received, which is primarily a function of latitude. 15.1 The Composition of Seawater • The thermocline is the layer of ocean water between about 300 meters and 1000 meters where there is a rapid change of temperature with depth.  Temperature Variation with Depth • The thermocline is a very important structure because it creates a barrier to marine life.
  • 10. Ocean Density Variation  Density is defined as mass per unit volume. It can be thought of as a measure of how heavy something is for its size. 15.1 The Composition of Seawater • Seawater density is influenced by two main factors: salinity and temperature.  Factors Affecting Seawater Density
  • 11. Ocean Density Variation  Density Variation with Depth 15.1 The Composition of Seawater • The pycnocline is the layer of ocean water between about 300 meters and 1000 meters where there is a rapid change of density with depth.
  • 13. Ocean Layering  Oceanographers generally recognize a three-layered structure in most parts of the open ocean: a shallow surface mixed zone, a transition zone, and a deep zone. 15.1 The Composition of Seawater  Surface Zone • Sun-warmed zone • Zone of mixing • Shallow (300 to 450 meters)
  • 14. Ocean Layering  Transition Zone 15.1 The Composition of Seawater  Deep Zone • Constant high-density water • Temperatures are just a few degrees above freezing. • Sunlight never reaches this zone. • Thermocline and pycnocline • Between surface layer and deep zone
  • 16. Classification of Marine Organisms  Marine organisms can be classified according to where they live and how they move. 15.2 The Diversity of Ocean Life  Plankton • Plankton include all organisms—algae, animals, and bacteria—that drift with ocean currents. • Phytoplankton are algal plankton, which are the most important community of primary producers in the ocean. • Zooplankton are animal plankton.
  • 18. Classification of Marine Organisms  Nekton 15.2 The Diversity of Ocean Life  Benthos • Nekton include all animals capable of moving independently of the ocean currents, by swimming or other means of propulsion. • Benthos describes organisms living on or in the ocean bottom.
  • 21. Marine Life Zones  Three factors are used to divide the ocean into distinct marine life zones: the availability of sunlight, the distance from shore, and the water depth. 15.2 The Diversity of Ocean Life  Availability of Sunlight • The photic zone is the upper part of the ocean into which sunlight penetrates.
  • 22. Marine Life Zones  Distance from Shore 15.2 The Diversity of Ocean Life • The intertidal zone is the strip of land where the land and ocean meet and overlap, or the zone between high and low tides. • The neritic zone is the marine-life zone that extends from the low-tide line out to the shelf break. • The oceanic zone is the marine-life zone beyond the continental shelf.
  • 24. Marine Life Zones  Water Depth 15.2 The Diversity of Ocean Life • The pelagic zone is open zone of any depth. Animals in this zone swim or float freely. • The benthic zone is the marine-life zone that includes any sea-bottom surface regardless of its distance from shore. • The abyssal zone is a subdivision of the benthic zone characterized by extremely high pressures, low temperatures, low oxygen, few nutrients, and no sunlight.
  • 25. Marine Life Zones  Hydrothermal Vents 15.2 The Diversity of Ocean Life • Here seawater seeps into the ocean floor through cracks in the crust. • At some vents, water temperatures of 100o C or higher support communities of organisms found nowhere else in the world.
  • 27. Tube Worms Found Along Hydrothermal Vents
  • 28. Primary Productivity  Primary productivity is the production of organic compounds from inorganic substances through photosynthesis or chemosynthesis. 15.3 Oceanic Productivity  Photosynthesis is the use of light energy to convert water and carbon dioxide into energy-rich glucose molecules.  Chemosynthesis is the process by which certain microorganisms create organic molecules from inorganic nutrients using chemical energy.
  • 29. Productivity in the Barents Sea
  • 30. Primary Productivity  Productivity in Polar Oceans 15.3 Oceanic Productivity • The low availability of solar energy limits photosynthetic productivity in polar areas.  Productivity in Tropical Oceans • Productivity in tropical regions is limited by the lack of nutrients.
  • 31. Water Layers in the Tropics
  • 32. Primary Productivity  Productivity in Temperate Oceans 15.3 Oceanic Productivity • In temperate regions, which are found at mid- latitudes, a combination of these two limiting factors, sunlight and nutrient supply, controls productivity. • Winter - Days are short and sun angle is low. - Low productivity
  • 33. Productivity in Northern Hemisphere, Temperate Oceans
  • 34. Primary Productivity  Productivity in Temperate Oceans 15.3 Oceanic Productivity • Summer - Phytoplankton population remains relatively low. - Strong thermocline develops so surface nutrients are not replaced from below. - Productivity is limited. • Spring - Spring bloom of phytoplankton is quickly depleted.
  • 35. Oceanic Feeding Relationships  Trophic Levels 15.3 Oceanic Productivity • A trophic level is a nourishment level in a food chain. Plant and algae producers constitute the lowest level, followed by herbivores and a series of carnivores at progressively higher levels. • The transfer of energy between trophic levels is very inefficient.  Transfer Efficiency
  • 36. Oceanic Feeding Relationships  Food Chains and Food Webs 15.3 Oceanic Productivity • A food chain is a sequence of organisms through which energy is transferred, starting with the primary producer. • Animals that feed through a food web rather than a food chain are more likely to survive because they have alternative foods to eat should one of their food sources diminish or disappear. • A food web is a group of interrelated food chains.

Editor's Notes

  1. Who is Stan Hatfield and Ken Pinzke
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