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Study Guide - Exam 2

Study Guide - Exam 2 - Oceanography Review Questions Second...

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Oceanography Review Questions: Second Exam 1. Why does it take so much wind force to set the ocean in motion? Wind strength: Wind must be moving faster than the wave crests for energy transfer from air to sea to continue Wind speed: the time and length high winds that blow only a short time will not generate large waves Fetch: distance over which the wind blows without significant change in direction Combination of these factors = great sea but doesn’t happen often Strong wind must blow continuously in one direction for nearly three days for the largest waves to develop fully 2. What are the major differences between an eastern and western boundary current? Why is a western boundary current deep, narrow, and swift? Both are responsible for the transport of heat in the ocean Western: narrow, deep (substantial), swift (hundreds of km per day), volume (large); warm core “rings” = clockwise, towards the poles o I.e. Gulf Stream, Kurisho Current and Brazilian Current o Characteristics of western boundary current = water here is warmer and therefore less dense, allows the water to flow at a faster rate (turbulent flow) Eastern: weak, shallow, broad and involves a large area o Cool water towards the equator 3. Why doesn’t the ocean become saltier with time? Ocean is made through many different sources many components of river water Due to the concept of “residence time” Residence time = amt. of an element in ocean / rate @ which the element is added to (removed from) the ocean Residence time = replacement time 4. How does the high salinity in the eastern Mediterranean affect the salinity at depth in the North Atlantic? What does it illustrate about the influence of marginal seas on the major oceans? The high salinity in the Med. increases the salinity in the N. Atlantic due to heat in the summer which causes the water to evaporate/in winter water level rises, causes salty, dense water to flow out of the straight of Gibraltar Influence: shows how marginal seas can have a major influence on larger oceans; has a large enough flux to make a significant impact 5. What is the “three-layered” ocean model? Surface layer: warm, variable salinity (32-37)
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o mixed/upper layer; temp. and salinity are relatively constant with depth due to action with waves and currents o Water in contact with atmosphere and exposed to sunlight o Contains the oceans less dense water o 2% of oceans total volume o Depth 150 m 1000m Pyconocline : cool, intermediate salinity (34-35) o density increase with increasing depth o Isolates surface water from denser water o Later below (rapid density increases with depth due to temp) o 18% of all ocean water Deep layer : cold, constant salinity (34.7) o Greater than 1000m o Little additional change in water density with increasing ocean depth o 80% of all ocean water 6. What is the Ekman Spiral? What is the direction of net Ekman transport relative to wind direction?
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