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Chapter 1 - Intro to Oceanography Chapter 1 I How Many...

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Intro to Oceanography : Chapter 1 I. How Many Oceans Exist on Earth? a. “World Ocean” – all oceans are interconnected and form a single continuous body of seawater b. The Four Principal Oceans, Plus One i. Pacific Ocean 1. single largest geographic feature on the planet (spanning over 1/3 of earth’s entire surface) 2. all continents can fit into the space occupied by it – w/ room left over 3. deepest ocean 4. named in 1520 by explorer Ferdinand Magellan’s party (paci = peace) ii. Atlantic Ocean 1. about half the size of the Pacific Ocean (not quite as deep) 2. named after Atlas, one of the Titans in Greek Mythology iii. Indian Ocean 1. slightly smaller than the Atlantic Ocean (same avg. dept) 2. named for it’s proximity to the subcontinent of India iv. Arctic Ocean 1. about 7% of the Pacific Ocean (little more than one-quarter deep as the rest of the oceans) 2. permanent ice with only a few meters thick 3. named after it’s location in the Arctic region, beneath the northern constellation Ursa Major (Big Dipper or the Bear [ arktos ]) v. Southern Ocean or Antarctic Ocean 1. portions of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans south of 50 degress south latitude 2. named for it’s location in the Southern Hemisphere c. The Seven Seas? i. Definition of sea 1. smaller and shallowe than an ocean 2. composed of salt water 3. somewhat enclosed by land 4. directly connected to the world ocean d. Comparing the Oceans to the Continents i. No mountain on Earth is taller than the Mariana Tench is deep ii. Avg. depth of the ocean is larger than avg. height of land II. How Was Early Exploration of the Oceans Achieved a. Early History i. Pacific Navigators 1. Three major inhabited island regions of the Pacific a. Micronesia (micro = small, nesia = islands) b. Melanesia (melan = black, nesia = islands) c. Polynesia (poly = many, nesia = islands) 2. No written records of Pacific human history exist before arrival of Europeans in the 16 th century
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3. Thor Heyerdahl, an adventurous biologist/anthropologist, proposed that voyagers from South America may have reached islands of the South Pacific before the coming of the Polynesians a. Sailed on Kon Tiki (a balsa raft designed lke those that were used by South Americans navigators at the time of European discovery) from South America to the Tuamotu Islands ii. European Navigators 1. Phoenicians a. Lived at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea, in present day Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel b. first humans from the Western Hemisphere known to have developed the art of navigation c. first recorded circumnavigation of Africa d. sailed as far north as the British Isles 2. Pytheas (Greek Astronomer-Geographer) a. Sailed using a simple yet elegant method for determining latitude i. Measuring the angle between an observer’s line of sight to the North Star and line of sight to the northern horizon 3. Library of Alexandra (one of the key repositories of scientific knowledge at the time) a. Alexandria, Egypt b. Became intellectual capital of the world 4. Eratosthenes (second librarian at the Library of Alexandria) a.
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