Ocean Investigations (2) see
Throughout this module, students will use hands-on, inquiry-based explorations to investigate:
- properties of seawater
- how ocean water circulates and how currents are formed
- different features of the ocean floor and how the ocean floor is mapped
- how the ocean floor got its shape.
To learn more about seawater
the following web sites:
1. The Composition of Seawater
- Seawater Chemistry, University of Saskatchewan
- Seawater Composition, Seafriends
- General Characteristics of the World's Oceans-Ocean Salinity, Institute on Climate and Planet, NOAA
Page includes description of the chemical elements in seawater, the dissolved gasses in seawater, and the processes controlling seawater composition.
View a detailed breakdown of the percentages of all major and minor elements in seawater.
Where is ocean salinity the highest? This page includes map of ocean salinity around the world and a cross section of ocean salinity versus depth.
- The Living Sea, Oceans Alive!
Read about where animals and plants live within different layers of the oceans.
Investigation 2 -- Ocean Waves
learn more about ocean waves,
following web sites:
1. What is a Wave?
- Waves, Ocean World
- How are ocean waves described? NOAA
- What causes ocean surface waves? NOAA
- Tsunami!, University of Washington
- Energy Transport and the Amplitude of a Wave, Physics Tutorial
This site includes information about different types of waves, how waves form, a photo gallery of waves, an interactive quiz, links to real-time Data as well as other useful links.
Compare ocean waves during calm conditions versus ocean waves during hurricane conditions.
Test your understanding about how ocean waves form then read the answer.
Read more about how tsunamis form, tsunamis that have happened in the past, and the warning system for tsunamis that could happen in the future.
2. The Energy of Ocean Waves
This page is part of a larger site about waves, wave properties, and behavior of waves. There are also a few questions at the end of the reading to check your understanding.
Investigation 3 -- Ocean Currents and Circulation
more about ocean
visit the following web sites:
- Role of the Ocean in Weather, Ocean World
- Gulf Stream Temperatures - NASA's Earth Observing System
- Water on the Move, Oceans Alive!
1. Movement of Heat on the Earth
Find out more about the connection between ocean deep water currents, surface currents, and climate changes.
Explains this ocean current, which plays an extremely important role in regulating global climate.
Includes a high-resolution satellite image.
Discussion covers tides, waves, and currents.
Investigation 4 -- Mapping the Ocean Floor
learn more about the ocean floor,
visit the following web sites:
- Sounding Out the Ocean's Secrets, National Academy of Sciences
- Physical Features of the Ocean - Looking at the Sea, Oceans Alive
- Images of the Seafloor of the US Coast, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory
- Ocean Floor Features, Electric Study Guide
1. Measuring Ocean Depths
Discusses the history and development of SONAR.
Find out more about features on the ocean floor. What is the total area of ocean basins? What and where is the deepest point of all the oceans? What and how tall is the highest mountain? Click on your ocean basin of interest to learn more about its physical features:
Select from an assortment of locations including coast along New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland, West Florida, Louisiana, California, and Oregon.
Test your knowledge of ocean floor features.
Investigation 5 -- Changes in the Ocean Floor
more about Plate Tectonics,
visit the following web sites:
- When the Earth Moves: Seafloor Spreading and Plate Tectonics, National Academy of Sciences
- From Earthquakes to Continental Drift, National Academy of Sciences
- This Dynamic Earth: The Story of Plate Tectonics, USGS
Historical account of plate tectonic theory.
Supporting evidence for the theory of plate tectonics came from the ocean.
An account of the development of plate tectonic theory.
Investigation 6 -- Adaptations to the Ocean
To learn more about
the ocean, visit the following web sites:
- Year of the Ocean, About.com
- Pacific Ocean Environment, Thinkquest
- It's Not Going to Win Any Beauty Contests But..The fish that puts the "ugh" in ugly is increasingly popular with biologists.
- Predators and Prey - The Living Sea, Oceans Alive!
- Fisheries, NOAA
1. The Ocean Environment
Find more information about fisheries and marine pollution.
This site focuses on the marine geology and biology of the Pacific, concentrating on the Hawaiian Islands and surrounding areas.
Some animals will make any adaptation to survive. While this article does covers more than just marine animal adaptations, it also mentions the development and importance of a swim bladder for fish.
This article gives a bit more details about marine food chains as well as a suggestion for an additional activity.
Learn more about how fisheries prevent humans for depleting the population into extinction.
|Great Barrier Reef||Japan Trench||Marianas Trench||Hawaiian Islands||Mid-Atlantic Ridge||Belize Reef||Peru Trench||Bering Strait|
|3D Map||3D Map||3D Map||3D Map||3D Map||3D Map||3D Map||3D Map|
|Surface Map||Surface Map||Surface Map||Surface Map||Surface Map||Surface Map||Surface Map||Surface Map|
Peter W. Sloss, NOAA National Geophysical Data
from 2-minute (~1.85 km) gridded elevation data
- The Great Barrier Reef
- Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
- Japan Trench
- Seafloor Topography of the Plate Boundaries & Seismicity, Japan Coast Guard
- Realtime Tidal Observation Data, Japan Coast Guard
- Earth: Out of the Arc, Nature
- Japan: Hazard Zone and Land of Mountains, Northwestern University
- Marianas Trench
- Marianas Trench Dive, NOAA
- Deepest Place in the Ocean - Challenger Deep, Extreme Science
- Have scientists determined the depth of the Marianas Trench yet?
- Hawaiian Islands
- Pacific Sea Floor Mapping - Hawaiian Islands, USGS
- "Hotspots:" Mantle Thermal Plumes, USGS
- Lo'ihi Seamount, Hawai`i's Youngest Submarine Volcano, USGS
- Mid-Atlantic Ridge
- Atlantic Ocean, Oceanographer of the Navy
- The Mid-Ocean Ridge, by Kenneth C. Macdonald and Paul J. Fox, UC Santa Barbara
- Belize Reef
- Belize Barrier Reef
- Belize Reef Tract, NOAA
- Peru Trench
- Overview of Central Andean Topography, Cornell University
- Map of Earthquake Frequency Along the Peru Trench
- Largest Earthquakes in the World, USGS
- Bering Strait
- Whales and Walrus: Tillers of the Seafloor, USGS
- Bering Strait, NASA
- Under the Sea - At the Top of the World, NavyLeague
learn more about
visit the following web sites:
Learn more about issues related to the management and protection of the reef. Topics covered include:
View several different images of the Japan Trench
Includes links for data around the Japanese islands.
Learn about the connection between the Japan Trench and the volcanoes in the region.
Read another article about the connection between the Japan Trench and earthquakes and volcanoes in the region.
Take a virtual trip through the deepest point in the ocean.
Challenger Deep is the name given to the deepest point in the Marianas Trench. Find out more how it got its name and how it formed.
Learn the answer from a geologist from the University of Hawaii.
Pick a Hawaiian Island and choose from three different map views of the island and seafloor.
Read about the formation of the Hawaiian Islands.
The youngest Hawaiian island that is already 931m above the seafloor. Check out this site and see an image of this young volcano.
Topics covered on this page include ocean bottom, water chacteristics, climate, and history and economy.
This article includes a detailed discussion of the geology of the Mid-Ocean Ridge and incorporates several diagrams and images.
This study reviews the diversity, utilization, and threats to the Belize Barrier Reef.
This page includes a description of the barrier reef as well as some black and white images and a Landsat image of the reef.
Compare two maps of the Chile-Peru Trench, one labeled and one blank.
Where was the largest earthquake since 1900? Read about the worst earthquake since 1900 centered in Chile through a series of short descriptions.
This article summarizes a study done for potential impacts to gray whales and walruses of drilling for oil in the Bering Strait.
A view of the Bering Strait from space.
Ever wondered how scientists learn about what the seafloor looks like below the ice? This article describes one expedition to the Artic through the Bering Strait.
- "New Images of the Seafloor off the US Coast" - Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
- SeaWiFS Image Gallery
- Classic CZCS Scenes
- Oceanography from the Space Shuttle
- National Data Buoy Center- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Images of coastal topography.
Satellite photos. Including biological ocean "blooms", thermal images of upwelling, and ocean storms.
Coastal Zone Color Scanner images show a great deal about biological productivity and currents in the ocean. This tutorial shows the range of information that can be gleaned.
Selection of oceanographic images, taken by NASA astronauts.
- Geologic maps: State and local:
- The United States Geological Survey National Geologic Map Database contains information on how and where to obtain geologic maps. (http://ngmdb.usgs.gov/)
- Your state Geological Survey - find your state survey on-line at Association of American State Geologists (http://www.kgs.ukans.edu/AASG/AASG.html).
- Download state geologic maps at About.com's site. (http://geology.about.com/science/geology/cs/geomapsusstates/)
- Reading Geologic Maps - informative review on how to read and interpret geologic maps. (http://geology.about.com/science/geology/library/weekly/aa100800a.htm)
- Geologic maps: Regional (two or more states):
- The on-line bookstore of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (http://bookstore.AAPG.org; 918-584-2555)
- Topographic maps: Local
- The United States Geological Survey MapFinder allows you to order 7.5 minute maps online for $4 per map plus $5 s/h per order. (http://edc.usgs.gov/Webglis/glisbin/finder_main.pl?dataset_name=MAPS_LARGE)
- The United States Geological Survey maintains a list of Map Dealers. Click on your state to obtain a list of retailers who sell maps. (http://mapping.usgs.gov/esic/map_dealers/)
- The United States Geological Survey National Geologic Map Database site on How to find topographic maps (http://ngmsvr.wr.usgs.gov/Other_Resources/rdb_topo.html)
- TopoZone site allows you to download topographic maps (including USGS maps) for free, at various scales (from 1:100,000 to 1:24,000). (http://www.topozone.com/)
- MapServer offers free online viewing of topo, nautical and aeronautical charts plus high altitude digital ortho quads (nav photos). (www.maptech.com and www.mapserver.maptech.com)
- General Map Resources:
- An excellent list of map resources available online can be found on the Central Michigan University Resources for Earth Science and Geography Instruction web site. Included are links to sites to make maps, as well as links to free downloadable outline maps, satellite imagery, GPS, and GIS databases. (http://personal.cmich.edu/~franc1m/locamap.htm)
- "Maps" - USGS Earth Science Information Center, includes general map information, from how to read maps to how to obtain them. Also includes links to further information regarding topographic, thematic, planetary maps, and more. (http://ask.usgs.gov/maps.html)
- National Geographic (maps and videos): 1-800-962-1643 (http://www.nationalgeographic.com/maps/index.html)
- "Maps of the United States" - USGS fact sheet, contains a series of depictions of the United States, along with information on how to obtain additional US maps. (http://www.usgs.gov/fact-sheets/maps-us/index.html)
- "Maps of the World" - USGS fact sheet, contains a series of world maps, including outline maps, seismicity maps, and political maps. Also contains information for ordering more specific world maps. (http://www.usgs.gov/fact-sheets/maps-world/maps-world.html)
- "National Atlas Maps" - USGS site of a variety of US maps that are available online, including shaded relief maps, aquifer maps, and further information on how to order maps not available online. (http://www-atlas.usgs.gov/atlasmap.html?)
- National Geographic Map Machine
Create a map using this input form (http://www.aquarius.geomar.de/omc/make_map.html). You can select from a variety of features including whether the topography or bathymetry of your selected region.
For a wide variety of thematic maps, click on "Dynamic Maps" or "Atlas Maps". Enter a location you wish to search for, and select from any number of themes, ranging from elevation to ocean floor. (You may need to click on "Select a New Theme" or "Related Atlas Maps" to find the theme you are looking for.)
Shows why Caribbean coral reefs are
some of the
most biologically diverse locations on Earth.
look at the geological
marvels of an undersea volcano
A look at
Australia's amazing coral
largest in the world.
the history of humankind's
with the ocean, from the history of sailing to modern day knowledge
of the ocean's role in regulating
McGraw-Hill, (2000), ISBN: 0071352538
study of the oceans, arranged by geologic eras
W.W. Norton & Company (2000), ISBN:0393320634
tome, covering both geological and biological perspectives
Knopf (2000), ISBN: 0375403744
reference on virtually every imaginable aspect of the
Perseus Press (1997), ISBN: 0201154986
the biology of the deep oceans, compiled from the author's
diving experience and other research.
area of active marine
plate tectonics and the
the Isthmus of Panama, a seminal event in "recent" geologic history.
Includes articles on seafloor topography ("The Oceans Revealed"), the origins of water on earth, the effect of
global warming on earth's oceans, the role of the oceans in regulating climate and weather, and more.