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Characteristics of Ocean Water. Oceanography covers physical properties of the ocean: –Dissolved materials: minerals and salts (salinity) and gases –Properties.

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Presentation on theme: "Characteristics of Ocean Water. Oceanography covers physical properties of the ocean: –Dissolved materials: minerals and salts (salinity) and gases –Properties."— Presentation transcript:

1 Characteristics of Ocean Water

2 Oceanography covers physical properties of the ocean: –Dissolved materials: minerals and salts (salinity) and gases –Properties that change with depth: light, temperature and pressure –Motion: Waves, tides, currents

3 Waters Unique Properties… -Found in 3 states of matter on our planet -High heat capacity: ability of water to hold heat energy and regulate our climate -Universal solvent: can dissolve more things than any other solvent

4 Unique Properties of water are due to Hydrogen Bonding- attraction between water molecules because of the unequal charges of O & H Charges on O and H help it dissolve things like salts Attraction between water molecules- a lot of heat is needed to increase water temp and when water cools it release a lot of heat

5 Salinity Result of weathering of rocks on land carried by rivers to the ocean Materials from the earth’s interior –Hydrothermal vents –Volcanic eruptions

6 Materials in Seawater –Oceans have an average salinity of 3.5% or 35 ppt (35 ‰) – ppt= parts per thousand –More than 70 elements in seawater but the main ones are..

7 Chloride Sodium Sulphate Magnesium Calcium Potassium


9 Dissolved Gases Oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen Dissolve into the ocean from the atmosphere through wave action Dissolve better in cold water Animal life can change the chemistry of ocean gases

10 Around 500 m water runs out of oxygen –Bacteria and other animals are using it during decomposition and respiration Animals in this region and lower have large gills, modified hemoglobin or are inactive


12 Pressure We are under 1 atmosphere (atm) of pressure on land Water is heavier than air so every 10 m deep = 1 more atm of pressure

13 Animal Adaptations and Pressure Ocean life has adapted to deep ocean and 1000x our pressure with lightweight skeletons, little musculature, and reduced metabolic, growth and reproductive rates. Diving mammals have rib cages that collapse and expand in result to changing pressure

14 Water Depth vs Light Photosynthetic organisms use light to make sugars. Sunlit area (top 100 meters) contains 90% of marine life Colors of penetrate thru water differently –Red light filters out first and blue light goes the furthest –Red animals are essentially invisible in deep waters



17 Energy in the Ocean Ocean takes longer to heat and cool than land due to its specific heat Water temp decreases with depth

18 Animal Adaptations and Temperature Colder temps reduce the metabolic rate In very cold waters fish have a special protein like antifreeze to keep tissues from freezing Lighter colored animals stay cooler than darker colored animals and are found in warmer waters Some marine life have thick layers of fat to insulate their bodies

19 Motion in the Ocean…Tides Daily rise and fall of the ocean (high and low tide) Range as small as 1 m & as high as 20m Some areas have 1 or 2 high & low tides Caused by gravitational pull of moon on our ocean basin

20 TIDES Tides rise (FLOOD) to produce a HIGH TIDE And fall (EBB) (LOW TIDE) Moon/ Sun

21 This side is pulled towards the Sun and/or Moon by gravitational attraction This side bulges out because of inertia Therefore, there are two high tides on Earth at any one time

22 Marine Life and Tides Some marine life time their reproduction to the high or low tide cycle Horseshoe crabs come ashore to mate on the night of a high tide in May Eggs hatch 2 wks later on a high tide and are washed into the ocean

23 Motion in the Ocean…Waves Winds produce waves as it blows across the ocean’s surface When waves enter shallow water they drag along the ocean floor The wave top is moving faster than the wave bottom so it topples forward Specialty waves: rogue waves, tidal waves and tsunamis

24 At the shoreline

25 Surf - sequence of breaking waves Swash - water sliding up beach Backwash - water flowing back down beach to sea

26 Longshore drift Waves arrive at a coast at an angle (swash) Backwash returns at 90 degrees Sand is moved along the beach = longshore drift or longshore current

27 Coastal deposition Result of longshore drift and a lot of sediment produces extensions of deposit from the shoreline

28 May grow across a bay (baymouth bar) May link an island to the main land (tombolo) spit = curved extension

29 Motion in the Ocean-Currents Rivers of water moving through the ocean Surface currents caused by major wind belts Deflected by the Coriolis Effect Important in moving marine life and nutrients around the oceans


31 Vertical Ocean Currents Differences in temperature and salinity change the density of water. This causes sinking and rising of water in the ocean Ocean conveyor belt- convection current of water moving between the equator and poles in the oceans Takes 1600 years to cycle


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