Questions tagged [oceanography]

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

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Why does the El Niño Stop?

The reason for the initiation of the El Niño is unknown, but what is well known is how it progresses once initiated. The West Pacific warm pool begins to drift East, and the strength of the trade ...
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At the ocean surface, why do large amplitude waves travel faster than small amplitude waves?

I understand the mathematics behind it but I am looking for an intuitive description.
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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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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 ...
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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.
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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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What is El Niño Modoki?

What are the characteristics that distinguishes a El Niño Modoki from a "normal" El Niño? What are the effects of El Niño Modoki on atmospheric and oceanic processes? How does it affect weather ...
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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 ...
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Would oceans regenerate if removed?

On Earth, there is enough Hydrogen and Oxygen to make 13,88 million km$^3$ of water (calculation below). However, oceans contain only a tenth of that. Clearly, most of the hydrogen must be stored in ...
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Why is there a daily inequality for low tides?

I understand why there is a daily inequality for high tides. What I do not understand is why the low tides are not equal. The data all seems to be somewhere along the lines of but the theory seems to ...
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How do we measure the total heat content contained in ocean and atmosphere?

This is similar to How is ocean heat content measured?, but here I'm thinking about the total content rather than fluxes in the content between land and ocean.
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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 ...
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Color of ocean waters and Ekman pumping - what is the connection?

Is there a connection between the colors of oceanic waters near the coast and Ekman pumping? Along the coastal areas of the Bay of Bengal where I live, occasionally during the monsoon, the colors of ...
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What is a typical value of the Péclet number for internal waves?

Defining the Péclet number as: $Pe = \frac{U \lambda}{\kappa}$ Where $U$ is the characteristic fluid velocity, $\lambda$ is the wavelength of the internal wave and $\kappa$ is the turbulent eddy ...
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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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Forecasting oceanic rogue waves

A rogue wave is, according to NOAA, "a large, unexpected and dangerous" oceanic wave. These are also known as 'killer' or 'freak' waves and have been a part of folklore of the past and observation of ...
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How much of the underwater land masses within the arctic ocean is considered continental shelf?

Right now I'm in the middle of writing my master thesis which is about modelling the ocean bottom pressure (obp) under areas with sea-ice coverage. In most Oceanic General Circulation Model's (ogcm) ...
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Where can I obtain ocean wave data of the Southeast Asian region?

I am interested in obtaining ocean wave data (preferably from actual measurements), such as wave height, period, and direction, in the Southeast Asian region. Where can I obtain them?
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How do Kelvin waves determine surface temperature variations?

Kelvin waves are basically waves that balance out the Coriolis force against topographic boundaries like coastlines and mountains. It seems very important in the oceans, for example. My question is ...
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Phase changes deep in planetary interiors and their implications for surface tectonics

Earth's core mantle boundary represents a phase change from a solid (though convecting) mantle to a liquid Iron/Nickel core. This dramatic transition is likely the origin of the D" boundary, as well ...
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Does the heating of the oceans due to greenhouse effect negate the acidification due to increased CO2 levels?

As I understand, the dissolving of carbon dioxide leads to increased acidification of the oceans, and thus increased atmospheric CO2 levels would lead to more dissolution in the oceans and thus ...
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Does the Great Pacific Garbage Patch increase sedimentation rates over the patch?

As in, does the debris in the patch area eventually sink? And if so, could sedimentation measurements over these regions provide a more fine-scaled measure of environmental conditions than ...
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Is it possible to forecast ocean salinity 100 years into the future?

Paleosalinity is measured by chloricity of pore fluids (Adkins 2002). Current data are provided by the CORA dataset. In addition to answers to the main question, there are a few more points I'd like ...
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Are there water molecules in the oceans which will almost never fall down as rain?

Some oceans are very deep. But is there also current (convection) deep in the ocean so that all water molecules will ones be evaporated and fall down as rain or is it very quite at the bottom so some ...
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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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What are the scientific consequences of the lost of the Nereus submersible?

The Nereus submersible was lost at sea while exploring the Kermadec Trench at 10,000 meters during a May 2014 research cruise. During its life, it was planned for the ROV to help investigate the ...
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Interpolating spatial data in contiguous sea areas only

I have a dataset consisting of irregularly spaced points in the ocean. For each point I have coordinates and a data value. I need to interpolate to a regular grid. So far, so easy. There are areas of ...
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How stable is the Gulf Stream? Could it stop suddenly?

I'm not completely clear on what Western intensification means, but it looks like a pretty powerful (combination of) forces that presumably wouldn't be likely to change on a timescale of years (or ...
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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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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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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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What is the area with the largest velocity vertical shear in the ocean?

While there are areas with really strong tidal currents in the ocean, these currents tend to be primarily barotropic. My question relates to the largest vertical difference in velocity and it is ...
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Average Aragonite:Calcite ratio in biogenic CaCO3 in the oceans

I wonder what the average ratio between aragonite and calcite is during the precipitation of biogenic calcium carbonate in seawater. I know some species are aragonite-favouring and some perfer using ...
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How different is the proportion of heavy water ($\ce{^2H2O}$) in the different oceans?

The average proportion of naturally occurring semi-heavy water or deuterated water, $\ce{^2HHO}$ or $\ce{HDO}$, is about 1 molecule in 3200. The proportion comes from the fact that one hydrogen in ...
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Looking at ocean depth/latitude profiles of dissolved oxygen and nitrate. Why is dissolved oxygen low when nitrate is high?

I was looking at a depth profile of a segment of the Atlantic Ocean. What is the relationship between dissolved oxygen and nitrate? When nitrate is high, dissolved oxygen is low and vice versa. I've ...
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Earth's ocean basins

Was Earth's sea-floor always carved with the numerous geological features that we see today, or was it at some point flat and boring as Mars is today?
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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 ...
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Can rocks have pressure signatures?

Since rocks can have magnetic signatures, as is the case with paleomagnetism, can they store past pressures also? For example, when researchers are trying to determine past ocean levels, they ...
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Why is colder seawater more compressible?

I know compressibility is related to the pressure and temperature of the water parcel, but what is the physical/molecular reason as to why colder water is more compressible?

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