Lecture12 - EAS 1600 Introduction to Environmental Science...

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EAS 1600 Introduction to Environmental Science Class 12 - The Oceans: Composition, Structure, Salinity We now begin our investigation of the Ocean and its role in the Earth System. Earlier we found that the atmosphere and its circulation is unable to balance the energy inputs and outputs. Even with the general circulation and the hydrologic cycle, there is an excess of energy in the tropical regions and a deficit of energy in the mid-latitudes and polar regions. Let’s see if the oceans are able to make up the difference. But first, let’s review some basic facts about the ocean. .. The Oceans of the World Pacific (166,241,000 sq km) Atlantic (86,557,000 sq km) Indian (73,427,000 sq km) Arctic (9,485,000 sq km) The Major Seas South China (2,974,600 sq km); Caribbean (2,515,900 sq km); Mediterranean (2,510,000 sq km); Bering (2,261,100 sq km); Gulf of Mexico (1,507,600 sq km); Sea of Okhotsk (1,392,100 sq km); Sea of Japan or East Sea (1,012,900 sq km); Hudson Bay (730,100 sq km); East China (664,600 sq km); Andaman (564,900 sq km); Black (507,900 sq km); Red (453,000 sq km) The Ocean As A Basin
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This graphic provides a more detailed depiction of this basin and the nomenclature used to describe it. (Use this graphic as a reference; no need to memorize all these terms.) The Ocean Floor Topography highly variable with ridges, trenches, seamounts, etc. We will have to wait until our discussion of plate tectonics to learn of the processes that form these features. How deep is the ocean? Ocean Average Depth(m) Deepest Point (m) Pacific 4,188 Mariana Trench - 11,033 Atlantic 3,872 Puerto Rico Trench - 8,648 Indian 3,872 Java Trench - 7,725 Arctic 1,038 Eurasia basin - 5,450 Average 4,000 The Ocean As Briny Water ~ 97% of “ocean water” by weight is actually H 2 O. The rest is largely dissolved salts Non – H 2 O Components Concentration Chloride Cl - 18.980 Sodium Na + 10.560 Sulfate SO 4 -- 2.650 Magnesium Mg ++ 1.270 Calcium Ca ++ 0.400 Potassium K + 0.380 Carbonic Acid HCO 3 - 0.140 Bromine Br - 0.065 Boric Acid H 3 BO 3 0.026 Strontium Sr ++ 0.013 Total 34.480 ) ( ) ( 2 O H Kg ion g Salinity Salinity = g of salt per g of ocean water ~ 0.035 = 3.5% = 35 0 / 00 We will see shortly that ocean salinity plays a major role in ocean circulation and perhaps even climate change. Questions: Why is the ocean saltier than the fresh water that feeds it? Is there any limit to how salty the ocean can get?
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Ocean Water Properties There is a distinct vertical structure with very sharp variations just below the surface. The properties of the surface waters (depth or z < ~1km) are distinctly different from the deep waters. The surface waters tend to be warmer, less salty, and less dense. We use the term
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This note was uploaded on 01/16/2012 for the course EAS 1601 taught by Professor Lynch during the Summer '08 term at Georgia Tech.

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Lecture12 - EAS 1600 Introduction to Environmental Science...

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