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Earth's Dynamic Ocean

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University of Phoenix Material

Earth’s Dynamic Ocean and Atmosphere I Worksheet

From Visualizing Earth Science, by Merali, Z., and Skinner, B. J, 2009, Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Copyright 2009 by Wiley. Adapted with permission.

Part 1

Sections 12.1 and 12.2 of the text discuss the origin and composition of the world ocean’s seawater.

1. What is the current theory on the evolution of the world ocean?the theory of the earth’s ocean, is possibly the earth was formed between 4 and 4.56 billion years ago. The most ancient grain discovered was a mineral grain of zircon in the middle of west austraillia. That element shows to have made contact with water, but the origin of the water is still unkown.
2. Discuss the origin of the salinity of seawater and how the ocean maintains salinity.
The salinity of the ocean is created after the seawater evaporates. At that point three quarters of dissolved matter becomes sodium chloride. (table salt). The ocean maintains its salinity because it constantly receives fresh water from parcipitation and river flow. Often times other elements parcipitate out of mineral form and settle to the seafloor. As a result the composition of the seawater does not change.

Part 2

Surface currents obtain their energy from the wind blowing over the surface waters. The currents do not exactly follow the wind direction because of an apparent force known as the Coriolis force. Using Figure 12.11 from the text, briefly explain surface currents of the world ocean and how the Coriolis force affects this movement in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. the surface currents of the world’s ocean in the northern hemisphere where there are significant continental boundaries in high latitude that cause cold currents to flow to the east. In the southern hemisphere the absence of continental booudaries allow the strong west winds to form a current around antartica.
Part 3


Figure 13.3 in the textbook helps visualize how tides are developed. In 150 words, answer the following:

1. What role does the Moon, Sun, and inertia play in the development of tides?
2. Why is there a variation in tidal ranges?
The earth rotates on its axis and the tide remains stationary opposite of the moon. The coastline will then move eastward through tides everyday. Whenever the landmass encounters a tide the water at coastline rises. While the earth rotates, the coast passes through the high tide then the water begins to fall. normally you will see two high tides and two low tides. The affect the sun has on the tide is not as great as the impact from the moon. The sun’s pull can enhance or lessen the moon’s effect, depending on the position of the moon, sun, or earth.

Part 4

Oceanfront land is considered prime real estate. Private owners and government projects take a number of different steps to protect land and property. Discuss some of the techniques and structures used to prevent loss of property due to erosion. Are these methods successful?
According to the international panel on climate change studiesshow that the rate of sea levels will increase and cause major shoreline erosion. The erosion affects all states with shorelines however there is no federal managing to prevent coastal erosion. Twenty three states have some form of shoreline setback policy in place. There is a proactive planning anticipating the relocation of houses or businesses to prevent erosion loss. If this goeas as planned it definitely can be a successful step provind sufficient land available.

Part 5

Global atmospheric circulation organizes itself into three convection cells that interlock like gears. These convection cells are shown in Chapter 6—see Figure 6.1—of the text. They play a major role in the locations of the deserts shown in Chapter 15—see figure 15.12—of the text. Name these convection cells and describe the role they play in global atmospheric circulation. The convection in the atmosphere that creates huge cells of rising and falling air masses. they make up three belts of high rain fall. These belts or cells lie in the equatorial region along with two polar fronts at fifty degress north and south latitude which results in warm humid or cold humid climate zones.
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Huge convection cells transfer heat from equatorial regions, where the imput of solar energy is greatest toward the poles. Due to the earth rotating, the flow of air toward the poles and the return flow toward the equator are constantly defected sideways, creating the circulating air masses shown on weather maps. The convection cells have a great influence on everyday weather day to day and long term climate change.these cells consist of the polar cell which decends air both cool and dry. The Ferrell cell which rises air both warm and mosit, and the Hadley cell which does both.

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