Lesson 3 Presentation Content Engage Explore Explain Elaborate Evaluate – Imagining the Seafloor Identifying Seafloor Features Upwelling and Phytoplankton Marine Sanctuaries Seafloor Features and Upwelling
Engage Imagining the Seafloor
The ocean looks similar everywhere … because we can’t see through the water
Pacific Ocean Atlantic Ocean But the seafloor is full of features
Explore Identifying Seafloor Features
Measuring the Seafloor
Mariana trench Trenches are very deep areas of the ocean. The Mariana trench is the deepest known trench, with a depth of 10,910 m Japan trench Aleutian trench
Exploring the Seafloor ROV – Remotely Operated Vehicle
Alaskan shelf Continental shelves are shallow (0 – 200 m deep) areas on the edges of continents and islands
Continental slopes are the steep “drop offs” between the continental shelf and the abyssal plain. The water depth ranges from 200 and 2,000 m Bering Sea slope Gulf of Alaska slope
The abyssal plain is the deep (2,000 m and deeper) and relatively flat seafloor making up most of the world’s oceans Abyssal plain
Cortes – Tanner Bank Banks are undersea hills, sitting on the continental shelf. They often reach very close to the surface Cordell Bank
Cordell Bank Image USGS
Emperor Seamount Chain Seamounts are volcanic mountains rising over 1,000 m above the seafloor, but always remaining under the waves. Sometimes they reach to 100 m from the surface
Volcanic Underwater Seamount
The stars and labels mark the three study sites, where albatross were tagged with transmitters. Grey shading indicates seafloor depth (m) Shaded Contour Map of the North Pacific Seafloor
Albatross Nesting Colony
Kure Atoll Seabird Sanctuary
Tern Island, National Wildlife Refuge
Black-footed Albatross, ka ʻ upu, at Sea
Tagging Albatross over Cordell Bank
Look at the map legend to find out what ocean depths this albatross flew over. One albatross tagged over Cordell Bank, off California (see close-up) Black circles indicate where a bird was located at noon. Arrows show their path.
Explain Upwelling and Phytoplankton
Microbes - microscopic organisms made up of a single cell (unicellular) or a cell cluster DiatomsCyanobacteria
Microbes Are the Most Abundant Organisms in the Ocean and form the Base of the Marine Food Webs These diatoms and other phytoplankton are tiny plant-like organisms. They produce sugar by photosynthesis using sunlight, carbon dioxide and nutrients.
The Wind Drives Coastal Upwelling Central California Coast
Coastal Upwelling Fertilizes the Ocean Central California Top-down view from a satellite shows the sea surface temperature off central California. Plumes of colder water (blue, 9 C or 42 F) upwell along the coast and mix with the warmer water offshore (red, 16 C or 60 F ).
Productive Water Looks Green Green in the ocean indicates productive regions with abundant chlorophyll-containing phytoplankton. Image Credit NASA
Albatross Food Chain Image credits: Phytoplankton: NOAA MESA Project, Zooplankton: NOAA/D.Forcucci; NOAA Central Library/Charleston Bump Expedition NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration; Dr. George Sedberry, South Carolina DNR, Principal Investigator, Fish: NOAA, NEFSC, Squid: NOAA/MBARI 2006, Albatross: NOAA Corps/Lieutenant Elizabeth Crapo
Many marine birds and mammals come together to feed in productive areas of the ocean.
Elaborate Marine Sanctuaries
Visit them online at
Designing Marine Sanctuaries Several marine sanctuaries protect seafloor features and the productive waters surrounding them, where many marine animals aggregate and thrive. Cordell Bank
Sanctuaries Can Protect Seafloor Features This map shows existing sanctuaries off central California and the location of seamounts and banks (pink shading)
Where would you create an Albatross Sanctuary?
Map Hand-Outs for Printing The following slides interpret the “Albatross Tracking and Bathymetry Maps” and provide material to stimulate discussion.
Commuting from the colony to a seamount
Use of the California shelf / slope and a visit to seamounts offshore
Foraging along the shelf / slope of the Aleutian Islands
Foraging along the shelf / slope of Japan
Use Agreement This presentation was developed for Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary and Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument by Meghan Marrero of Mercy College and Oikonos - Ecosystem Knowledge. Teachers, educators, researchers and students may incorporate these materials into their lesson plans, presentations, and worksheets in hard copy and digital format for internal educational use only, not into any publication for external distribution. All photos, art, video and data have been contributed free of charge to create this product for educational use. Content may be copyrighted and/or owned by individuals and entities other than, and in addition to, NOAA and Oikonos. Credits for all the media are embedded or included, please retain credits when reproducing. No organization or person (whether an educational body or not) may incorporate this material into any media for promotional or commercial purpose whatsoever. Please contact Oikonos or NOAA to request further use of any images, art, video, data or text included in this presentation – we will contact contributing authors. Contact: All resources for this curriculum are available at :
Engage – Imagining the Seafloor 1.The ocean surface looks the same everywhere 2.But the seafloor is full of features: Google Maps of the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean Explore – Identifying Seafloor Features 1.Measuring the Seafloor 2.Google Map of the Pacific Ocean 3.Google Map of Trenches 4.ROV Submersible 5.Google Map of Continental Shelves 6.Google Map of Continental Slopes 7.3D graphic of Continental Slope 8.Google Map of Abyssal Plains 9.Google Map of Banks 10.3D graphic of Cordell Bank 11.Google Map of Seamounts 12.3D graphic of a volcanic seamount 13.B&W Contour Map of Pacific Ocean Bathymetry 14.Albatross Nesting Colony 15.Photos of Kure Atoll and Tern Island where birds were tagged 16.Albatross At-Sea 17.Photos of Tagging over Cordell Bank 18.Handout Example: Cordell Bank Loop Explain – Upwelling and Phytoplankton 1.Microbes are microscopic organisms 2.Phytoplankton microbes photosynthesize 3.The wind drives coastal upwelling 4.Coastal upwelling fertilizes the ocean 5.Productive water looks green 6.Albatross Food Chain 7.Whales and birds feed in productive areas Elaborate – Marine Sanctuaries 1.Map of existing U.S. Marine Sanctuaries 2.Designing Marine Sanctuaries 3.Sanctuaries Can protect Seafloor Features 4.Where Would You Create an Albatross Sanctuary? 5.Information for Map Discussions 6.Map of Albatross Track: Kure Atoll Loop 7.Map of Albatross Track: Cordell Bank Loop 8.Map of Albatross Track: Kure Atoll to Alaska 9.Map of Albatross Track: Kure Atoll to Japan Lesson 3 Presentation Content