Questions tagged [oceanography]

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

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14
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1answer
832 views

Do ringwoodite minerals point to an “ocean's worth” of water, or a true subterranean ocean?

Appears that the answer is that it is highly likely that the water that the ringwoodite minerals point to is an "ocean's worth" of water, not a true subterranean ocean. Do ringwoodite minerals ...
12
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2answers
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If the Earth were a smooth spheroid, how deep would the ocean be?

At the moment there are deep seas and high mountains. But imagine that the land elevation of the Earth is equal everywhere. How deep would the ocean be in that case?
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4answers
5k views

Why is relative sea-level falling in Hudson Bay?

Why is the sea level in Hudson Bay decreasing so much? Hudson Bay is pretty far up north, much closer to glaciers. Would it make sense for it to recede at this level with sources of fresh water ...
19
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1answer
1k views

What fraction of dry land is below sea level?

Someone just asked me if it would be practical to counter the rise of sea level by pumping water into storage on land. It struck me that if there is enough land below sea level, this would require ...
18
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2answers
738 views

Are there secondary causes of sea level change?

Aside from the fraction of water stored as ice on land and temperature of the water, are there other factors that change sea level, and if so what are is the magnitudes of the these changes? For ...
7
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1answer
2k views

How to read a NetCDF4 file in Matlab?

I have downloaded the sea surface temperature data from the Ocean Color website, the file is in NetCDF format and contains no of geophysical_data variables like sst,...
14
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2answers
5k views

Effect on sea level if the Earth stopped rotating

Would sea level change at the equator if the Earth stopped spinning? I am assuming it is currently bulging around it due to centrifugal force.
4
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1answer
2k views

How often do king tides (perigean spring tides) occur?

Recently, there has been a lot of information about "King Tides" (i.e, perigean spring tides) on the news with a number of groups relating the peak king tide to future normal conditions (2050) under ...
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2answers
5k views

What is the origin of the ocean's salt?

We know we cannot live without salt, but an investigation into the origins of ocean's salt leads one to believe that this issue is not fully resolved yet. What geological phenomenon caused the earth ...
14
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2answers
2k views

What causes waves to form the characteristic “breaking” shape as they approach the shoreline?

We all know that as waves approach the shallow shores, the waves begin to form a characteristic shape. The upper portion of these breaking waves appears to curl forward and downwards over the bottom ...
14
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1answer
848 views

How is carbon distributed among the atmosphere, the oceans, the biomass and the unburnt fossil fuels?

In relation to my other question about carbon cycle and climate change, i would like to know some estimates of the carbon distribution among the atmosphere, the oceans, the biomass and the unburnt ...
17
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1answer
162 views

What is the appropriate vertical datum to use globally?

When studying sea level changes, it is normal to analyze water level with respect to a common vertical datum. The most used datum is Mean Sea Level (MSL), which NOAA defines as "The arithmetic mean of ...
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Impact craters under water

What would be the resulting impact crater of a meteorite hitting bodies of water on Earth? Let's take for example the impactor that resulted in Meteor Crater, Arizona. What would the impact look like ...
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3answers
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What is the tallest fully underwater seamount in the world?

I am wondering what is the tallest fully underwater seamount in the world ? When I say the tallest, I mean the one that is the nearest of the sea level. EDIT : The highest that I found would be at ...
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How do Rossby Waves in the ocean form?

So on land, I believe that one factor in their formation is due to inhomogeneities in surface heating between land and ocean (and also inhomogeneities in surface heating due to terrain effects like ...
5
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1answer
985 views

Definitions of tidal harmonic constituents…?

Does anyone know where there is a detailed definition for tidal harmonic constituents? There is loads of stuff on $M_2$, $S_2$, $N_2$, etc. (all the common ones), but there are a great many more, some ...
4
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1answer
796 views

What are the implications of the recent discovery that huge oceans exist close to the mantle of the Earth? [duplicate]

I was of the notion that as we get deeper into the Earth, it gets hotter and hotter. If so, how can there be huge oceans (they seem bigger than our Pacific) exist at such a place? If so, what are the ...
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1answer
125 views

Does being under water provide any protection from a asteroid?

Does being under or on water provide any protection from an asteroid hitting the opposite side of the Earth over being in or on land or in air? Why? Will the shock wave follow the curvature of the ...
6
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1answer
339 views

If ALL the ice melted, what percentage of the Earth's surface would be water?

At the present time, about 70% of the earth's surface is liquid water (perhaps that includes floating ice around Antarctica, and the Arctic Ice cap). What percentage of the Earth's surface would be ...
6
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1answer
118 views

What is the evidence it is feasible to reverse ocean acidification by adding large quantities of a base (bicarb soda)?

A commenter made the following reflection: Ocean acidification is different than sea level rise and global warming, however. With ocean acidification, we're making an excursion unlike anything the ...
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4answers
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Are there any uncharted waters left on earth?

While reading about the ghost ship Jiang Seng I noticed that Wikipedia claimed it was drifting in uncharted waters in the Gulf of Carpentaria. I tried to find a primary source referencing uncharted ...
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5answers
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How and why did the oceans form on Earth but not on other planets?

Earth is the only planet in our solar system that has copious amounts of water on it. Where did this water come from and why is there so much water on Earth compared to every other planet in the ...
15
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1answer
341 views

What is the predictability of El Niño/La Niña?

What is the maximum period of time into the future that an El Niño event can be forecasted with reasonable accuracy and what are the limitations in predicting the time limit?
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8answers
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Why does the salt in the oceans not sink to the bottom?

This is something that just occurred to me. If heavier elements sink, then how can the entire ocean be salty? Shouldn't the 'salt', because of its density, all sink to the bottom of the ocean? In ...
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2answers
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What are baroclinic and barotropic waves?

I have a basic understanding of what baroclinic and barotropic mean but cannot seem to get my head around baroclinic waves and barotropic waves.
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1answer
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Why is ocean surface velocity around 3% of wind velocity?

Many introductory level textbooks suggest that, as a rule of thumb, the velocity of the ocean surface is around 3% the wind velocity at 10 meters above the sea surface. For instance, Ocean ...
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2answers
1k views

How to measure ocean vertical velocity?

While horizontal velocities in the ocean are relatively easy to measure, what methods are available to measure vertical velocities? Is there some indirect way to estimate vertical velocities from ...
9
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477 views

What are the striations or ridges in the eastern Pacific Ocean?

Messing around on Google Earth recently I noticed a number of striations in the Eastern Pacific. These appear in an East-West orientation and seem to start on the North and South American continental ...
9
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1answer
7k views

What visual wave behaviour help to tell if a tide is going in or out?

I have always wondered how someone could tell, by a brief observation (a few minutes at most), whether a tide is receding or advancing on a rainy day. Assuming there is no access to tide times and ...
19
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1answer
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What was the ocean circulation like during the time of Pangaea?

So Enderton and Marshall (2009) wrote an interesting paper on the ocean circulation of various aquaplanets covered with certain terrain: e.g. an aquaplanet with a small ridge of land that ranged from ...
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3answers
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Why deep ocean didn't freeze during snowball Earth?

I know that at least twice in its history Earth was totally frozen. I also know that the last time it happened there were already life on Earth, and it survived. In deep water, under the ice, which ...
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3answers
4k views

How will sea level rise be distributed across the globe?

Sea level rise from melting glaciers will not be uniformly distributed across the globe. However, it isn't clear to me what places will have the most and least extreme changes in sea level rise. I ...
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2answers
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What are the benefits of using conservative temperature in oceanography?

The new standard for ocean temperature is the "conservative temperature". It is based on a hypothetical adiabatic and isohaline change in pressure to the sea surface. Conservative temperature was ...
11
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2answers
292 views

What causes these odd-looking currents in the Tasman Sea?

I was looking at the model ocean current maps from earth :: a global map of wind, weather, and ocean conditions for 2015-10-07 00:00 UTC and there are a lot of odd-looking 'whirlpool' areas off the ...
11
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2answers
5k views

Will the ocean eventually erode all land?

It seems as if the 'lowest energy' state for the Earth is to not have any mountains and that given enough time, the oceans would erode all land. Essentially it's an argument like entropy. And I mean ...
9
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1answer
629 views

The motion of tides

I found this animation from a satellite: which shows the motion and elevation of tides on a certain date. Can you find an animation of a date when there is a spring tide? my question is as follows: ...
9
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3answers
756 views

Are there sufficient quantities of limestone to dump in the ocean to reverse acidification?

This question asked: What is the evidence it is feasible to reverse ocean acidification by adding large quantities of a base (bicarb soda)? The result was: Danny Harvey of the University of ...
9
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1answer
599 views

Does bathymetry affect ocean topography/height?

Here is a map of ocean surface height or topography: Source: http://www.esa.int/var/esa/storage/images/esa_multimedia/images/2010/12/mean_dynamic_topography_of_global_ocean/9930795-2-eng-GB/...
7
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1answer
199 views

Is the seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea mostly sedimentary rock?

This comes from a related question about predicting oil (or not) in the deep sea, not just the continental shelf. Apparently the deep seafloor is igneous, which lowers its chances of holding oilfields....
6
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2answers
3k views

What is the inverted barometer effect?

In a related question (Does bathymetry affect ocean topography/height?), the effect of atmospheric pressure on sea level is described as "inverted barometer". What does it mean? How does it get ...
6
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1answer
710 views

ocean current frequency

In this paper by Muller and Garrett it is stated: It is a standard expectation that currents in the ocean interior with frequencies much less than the Coriolis frequency will lead to an Ekman ...
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2answers
2k views

How would the Earth look without water in the oceans?

Has there ever been a movie, a documentary, or an image that provides a visualization of the oceans without water? I'm writing an article on geology and I thought a visual representation would be of ...
6
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1answer
751 views

Why are there 5 oceans?

Like many people, while in school I learned there were four Oceans on Earth - Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Arctic. In general I think it was described that the currents and the surrounding continents ...
5
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1answer
421 views

Depth of the wind-induced currents and the shoreline

In the open sea the speed of the current in the developed sea can be estimated as 3% the wind velocity at 10 meters. Why is ocean surface velocity around 3% of wind velocity? Is there a similar ...
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1answer
49 views

Net fluxes of carbon caused by humans

The current and future amount of carbon (in the form of carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere and the hydrosphere is what currently concerns and occupies many people. I am looking for a big picture of ...
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2answers
1k views

Historically, how has the fraction of Earth covered by water changed?

Today, 70.8% of the Earth is covered in water (± a few tenths of a percent depending on how you account for lakes).1 How has this figure changed over the history of the Earth, and why? Of course, if ...
16
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1answer
296 views

Potential explanations of Red Sea crossing

I am looking for a believable explanation of the Red Sea Crossing in the Bible. This would involve either strong winds(which is mentioned in the Bible) or plate tectonics which could cause land to ...
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3answers
1k views

How is ocean heat content measured?

The oceans are absorbing much of the heat from climate change. How is all of this heat measured?
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1answer
4k views

Why does the shoreline sometimes recede prior to a Tsunami?

It is well known among regular beach goers that a sudden shoreline drawback is often a warning sign for an impending Tsunami. My understanding of Tsunamis is they they form as a result of the ...
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1answer
1k views

Differences between TEOS-10 and EOS-80 for salinity

In 2009, the oceanographic community decided to adopt the Thermodynamic Equation Of Seawater - 2010 (www.teos-10.org) as the standard to calculate the properties of seawater. As part of that, they ...