Questions tagged [oceanography]

Oceanography is the branch of Earth science that studies the ocean. It is also known as oceanology.

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What would the climate and greenhouse effects be if the oceans contained half as much water?

Imagine the Earth contains 50% the water it currently contains. The oceans are still located in the same place, but they are much shallower. How would this affect the climate and the climate stability ...
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ETOPO1 region selection (in python)

I am trying to select a region in the Mediterranean Sea from the ETOPO1 data. ...
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How plausible is it that "a portion of the ocean's floor" could suddenly be "thrown up to the surface" as described in this Lovecraft story?

This question came to me after reading H.P. Lovecraft's "Dagon"- the protagonist has fallen asleep drifting on the ocean in a small boat. He wakes up one morning to discover he's been ...
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Effects of Dredging Estuary Channel on Water Flow

Is it possible to make some generalizations about the hydrographic effects of dredging a channel into an estuary? Or is it too complex a problem and each case must be considered independently? Let me ...
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How far do substances travel when thrown into the ocean?

If I walk up to a pier and throw kool aid into the ocean, where will those kool aid particles end up on a long enough time scale? Is it arbitrary? Will they travel the entire ocean at one point?
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How does ocean productivity vary with depth?

How does the biological productivity of the ocean vary with depth? (By 'productivity', what I'm actually interested in is production of edible fish, but I suppose other measures like photosynthesis, ...
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How large were Mars' ocean tides and to what extent could they keep the oceans mixing and tend to keep salinity uniform? Has this been modeled?

This answer to Salinity of Martian water 3.5 Billion years ago in Astronomy says that most estimates of Mars' ocean's salinity are pretty high; The article "Water Activity and the Challenge for ...
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Why is the Gulf of Alaska not a Bay? What is the difference between a Gulf and a Bay? [closed]

Since the mouth of this water body is actually very wide, why do we call it a Gulf? What exactly is the difference between a Gulf and a Bay?
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Why aren't diatoms' shells used as a temperature proxy, but foraminifera shells are?

Changes in oceanic oxygen isotope ratios (18O to 16O) are reflected in the shells of ancient foraminifera. However, I have not read of diatom shells being used, despite the fact that they were (and ...
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Oceanic water mass predictor?

Anybody know of software or a website out there that will try to predict the oceanic water mass based on temperature and salinity data? As you might due visually with a T-S diagram?
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Book recommendation on waves

I am looking for a book about waves in the context of Earth Science, the two main topics I have in mind are ocean waves and seismic waves. Explanations in a book like Understanding earth1 is too ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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How to calculate Ocean heat content?

I have subsurface temperature data for up to 300 m oceanic depth (at varying depth intervals). I want to calculate the ocean heat content for 0-300 m. The formula is: OHC = seawater density * Specific ...
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Solutions to the global water shortages by damming the Baltic Ocean and the White Sea

Geopolitics and costs aside, would damming the Baltic Ocean and the White Sea be enough to provide a renewable supply of water to water stressed Central Asia? Central Asia because its closest and has ...
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How cold would the Earth have to be for the oceans to freeze entirely?

I imagine it is difficult for the ocean to freeze solid due to the low freezing point of salt water and the insulating effect of the formation of sea ice over the cool but still liquid ocean water. ...
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Coriolis parameter approximations

When solving equations involving the Coriolis parameter $f = 2\Omega\sin{\varphi}$, I often see the $f$-plane (constant) or the $\beta$-plane (Taylor expansion) approximations. If I'm solving ...
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Salinity balance in the oceans, is it increasing over time? [duplicate]

My 13 yr old kid is studying the water cycle and has raised me some question I don't have answers to regarding how the salinity levels of the oceans are kept constant (over very long period of time) ...
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1 answer
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Is there a geological explanation for the recent Mammoth tusk discovery 185 miles off the California coast?

A recently publicized discovery of a Columbian Mammoth tusk located well of the coast of California in quite deep water made me wonder if geological conditions 100,000 years ago can explain how it got ...
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Why is the sea salinity high in the Mediterannean and Red Sea and low in Indonesia and Malaysia?

It goes without question that salinity levels will be lower where rivers enter as the river water mixing with the sea water will reduce the salinity levels. But, the thing is, when you look at the map ...
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5 votes
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How to determine the annual harmonics of temperature and salinity data?

This is a question on methodology. But I have 4d temperature and salinity gridded data (time, depth, lat and lon). The time is in monthly time steps. How would I get the annual harmonics of ...
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Carbon emission from estuaries

I've heard that estuaries like Chesapeake Bay produce a lot of methane during anoxic conditions. Is there a chance of these estuaries emitting significant amounts of CH4 in the future (because of the ...
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8 votes
2 answers
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Where to find reliable water temperature?

I need data regarding water temperature of Mediterranean Sea according to changes in depth. I couldn't find these data in the Copernicus Marine website, so I'd like to know if you know of any database ...
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6 votes
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Wave height data for Indian east coast

For my project, I am looking for wave height information. My study area is the Odisha coast of the Bay of Bengal. What I have gathered from various research papers is that significant wave height is ...
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Is Challenger Deep really the deepest place in the ocean?

We have all been told at some point that the Mariana Trench is the deepest place in the ocean, but is that really true? More than 80% of the world's oceans are unexplored, so couldn't there be a much ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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How long do geostrophic currents last?

My professor posed this question, without any relevant material. I suppose the currents last until the density gradient is neutralized, but I can't find any literature nor articles on this, regarding ...
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how old are the gulf stream and the NAC?

After reading about the NAC (North Atlantic Current) weakening in the news, we got to wondering about its history and that of the gulf stream. Specifically, how and when did they start? Were there ...
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How does global-warming-triggered ice melting cause global sea levels to rise?

Apologies for asking a silly question like this. But I want to offer some points which I could not counter, as follows: Ice is less dense than water, that is why it floats. For the same unit mass, if ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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How authentic was the movie scene in "The day after tomorrow" related to the understanding of the north Atlantic current system?

Today's The Guardian headline was that Climate crisis: Scientists spot warning signs of Gulf Stream collapse. It reminded an old movie called "The Day After Tomorrow", which suggested the ...
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12 votes
2 answers
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Why is the deep sea cold?

Except near thermal vents, the deep ocean is generally considered to be quite cool. For instance, water temps in the Mariana Trench (~10 km deep) are 1-4 °C. However, the geothermal gradient runs ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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The effect of enclosed channels and breakwaters on wave height and velocity

Some context: I row every morning, and due to my rowing club's proximity to a large lake, it is often very windy and rough (which builds character, according to the coaches). I noticed that as we row ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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How fast is the Gulf Stream near shore?

The Gulf Stream is the fastest ocean current in the world with peak velocities near 2m/s, a surprisingly high figure. But I think that the speed is out in the open ocean, and it would be slower near ...
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Wouldn't 'fertilizing' the ocean to increase cyanobacteria, algae and other phytoplankton populations actually INCREASE CO2 levels in the air?

From the July, 2021 Scientific American: The Carbon rocks of Oman: "...fertilizing the ocean would increase the growth of phytoplankton that naturally absorb CO2 through photosynthesis'. (page ...
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5 votes
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Why does the ocean floor look so scratchy?

Why does some part of the ocean floor look so scratchy? If you look at Google Earth image of the Indian ocean floor, especially the area south-west of Sumatra, it looks like some cosmic beast ...
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What did the water's edge look like on the Pacific coast of the Laurentide Ice Sheet?

I have seen news reports saying that in recent years many more scientists think that humans first arrived in the Americas by boat, along coast of Alaska and Canada (before they were able to come ...
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11 votes
7 answers
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While desalinating ocean water, would it be bad if we didn't pump the brine back into the ocean?

Desalinating ocean water takes seawater, separates the fresh water from the brine, and usually pumps the brine back into the ocean. But what if we didn't pump the brine back into the ocean? (For ...
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1 vote
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What is the most current thinking on the amount of heat transferred into the oceans from underwater thermal vents and volcanoes?

My understanding is that with the relatively recent discovery of many more volcanoes on the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Ridge (and perhaps other ocean ridges) and more deep trenches with thermal vents, that ...
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5 votes
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Why is the tidal range at the entrance to the bay of fundy so high?

This question is a continuation of my previous question: Questions about the validity of a certain model for tidal resonance at the Bay of Fundy. I need to answer this question in order to return to ...
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What effect would a slowdown of the AMOC have in particular on North America's climate/weather?

From what I know so far, a slowdown/shutdown in the gulf stream would cause climate change to run counter to the way that it would normally progress (i.e. poles warming faster than the tropics.) Warm ...
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3 votes
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Questions about the validity of a certain model for tidal resonance at the Bay of Fundy

I'm currently working on a (relatively-simple) fluid-dynamics model of the tidal resonance at the Bay of Fundy, a place which is known for his world-breaking tidal range (15 meters on average, while ...
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What makes Eastern Boundary Currents cold?

As far as I am aware, there are two separate processes that cause Eastern Boundary Currents (EBCs) to have cold Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs). One is offshore Ekman transport, which leads to coastal ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Atmospheric $\ce{CO2}$ fell at a Pleistocene interglacial-glacial transition. Ocean absorption vs biosphere absorption

CO2 levels fell during the last interglacial-glacial transition until the Last Glacial Maximum in the Pleistocene. I can think of two causes for the reduction of CO2: Ocean absorption. The ...
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3 votes
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What is the environmental effect of personal protective equipment on the ocean?

What is the environmental impact of masks and other personal protective equipment polluting the oceans? The world is using billions of masks and gloves due to the COVID pandemic and they are being ...
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Will Lithium batteries mean we have to exploit Co-Mn-Ni nodules from the seafloor?

Co-Mn-Ni goes into some of the most efficient Lithium Ion battery chemistry. It is very convenient that Co-Mn-Ni is also readily available from the ocean seabed. Polymetallic nodule contains various ...
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How do pilots of Deep Sea Vehicles operate the control surfaces and thrusters from inside a pressure hull? [closed]

A Deep Sea Vehicle (DSV) like Trieste or Limiting Factor or now Fundouzhe have control thrusters, ballast that has to be dumped, and other equipment to operate the DSVs. But the pressure hull is a ...
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Deep Sea Exploration - Is there a purpose to human exploration? [closed]

Should humans explore the deep ocean (1800meters or deeper) or is this the realm of AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles)? It seems that such deep ocean exploration is best done by AUVs. They are ...
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As the number of ocean dead zones increases, is the world's primary source of atmospheric oxygen (phytoplankton) at risk?

Disclaimer: I am not a scientist. I was wondering if there is a concern that the world will run out of breathable atmospheric oxygen as the number of dead zones in the ocean increases with global ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Which ocean evaporates the most water per surface area?

I guess the Pacific Ocean evaporates the most water because of its size. But which of the major oceans evaporates the most water per square meter?
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4 votes
2 answers
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What is the fastest ocean deep current?

The Gulf Stream is the fastest ocean current in the world with peak velocities near 2m/s. Source: marine.coastal.edu What about deep currents, North Atlantic Deep Water, Antarctic Bottom Water, etc? ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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Was the Caribbean Sea a closed sea during the last glaciation?

Taking a look at Google Earth the straits between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean are not very deep. The sealevel during the last glaciation was 120 meters lower than the present level. Was ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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Why should there not be water deep (e.g. below 6 kms) in the Earth's crust?

In 1970, the USSR began drilling at the Kola Super-deep Borehole. The target depth was 15,000 meters; The stated areas of study were the deep structure of the Baltic Shield, seismic discontinuities ...
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Hypothetically, in the near future, could gas hydrate pingos erupt?

Could gas hydrate pingos erupt? If so, how quickly? And how much CH4 could they release? I'm sorry if the questions sounds silly. I'm new here and I don't know much about gas hydrates and oceanography....
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