Oceanography Terms Test Answers

question

Intertidal
answer

The shallow zone of the ocean where land meets water, which is alternately covered or exposed by the tied
question

Sublittoral
answer

Benthic zone from the low-tide line to the seaward edge of the continental shelf; the subtidal zone.
question

Bathyal
answer

Pertaining to ocean depths between approximately 1000 and 4000 meters.
question

Abyssal
answer

benthic environment between 4000 m and 6000 m depth
question

Hadal
answer

of or pertaining to the greatest ocean depths, below approximately 20,000 ft.
question

Plankton
answer

the aggregate of small plant and animal organisms that float or drift in great numbers in fresh or salt water
question

Nekton
answer

the aggregate of actively swimming animals in a body of water ranging from microscopic organisms to whales
question

Benthos
answer

organisms (plants and animals) that live at or near the bottom of a sea
question

Abyssal Hill
answer

A hill on the slope of a mid-ocean ridge about 100m high and lineated parallel to the ridge crest, formed by faulting of the basaltic oceanic crust as it moves out of the rift valley
question

Abyssal Plain
answer

very level area of the deep-ocean floor, usually lying at the foot of the continental rise
question

Mid-Ocean Ridge
answer

an undersea mountain chain where new ocean floor is produced; a divergent plate boundary
question

Rift Valley
answer

A deep valley that forms where two plates move apart.
question

Ocean Trench
answer

A steep, long depression in the deep-sea floor that runs parallel to a chain of volcanic islands or a continental margin
question

Continental Slope
answer

the steep gradient that leads to the deep-ocean floor and marks the seaward edge of the continental shelf
question

Continental Shelf
answer

a gently sloping, shallow area of the ocean floor that extends outward from the edge of a continent
question

Continental Rise
answer

the gently sloping section of the continental margin located between the continental slope and the abyssal plain
question

Guyot
answer

A large, flat-topped seamount resulting from erosion of an island volcano when it was above sea level.
question

Seamount
answer

a huge, underwater volcanic mountain that may emerge from the ocean surface as an island
question

Atoll
answer

an island consisting of a circular coral reef surrounding a lagoon
question

Sea Cliff
answer

Steep slope produced when waves erode and undercut rock.
question

Sea Cave
answer

formed as wave action hollows out the cliff
question

Sea Arch
answer

Formed when sea caves on either side of a headland join.
question

Sea Stack
answer

column of rock remaining after the collapse of a sea arch
question

Wave-Cut Terrace
answer

A level surface formed by wave erosion of coastal bedrock beneath the surf zone. May be visible at low tide.
question

Wave-Built Terrace
answer

An extension to a wave-cut terrace formed by erosional material deposited offshore
question

Beach
answer

an area of sand sloping down to the water of a sea or lake
question

Berm
answer

a narrow ledge or shelf typically at the top or bottom of a slope
question

Coral Reefs
answer

Prominent oceanic features composed of hard, limy skeletons produced by coral animals; usually formed along edges of shallow, submerged ocean banks or along shelves in warm, shallow, tropical seas
question

Barrier Island
answer

Low, narrow, sand islands that form offshore from a coastline
question

Sand Bar
answer

A long underwater ridge formed by sand deposited offshore
question

Submergent Coastline
answer

A landform formed when sea level rises or when land sinks
question

Emergent Coastline
answer

Coastline that results from either a drop of sea level or an uplifting of the land
question

Lagoon
answer

shallow body of water or lake near a sea; lake separated from a sea by sandbars or coral reefs
question

Spit
answer

a narrow strip of land that juts out into the sea
question

Tombolo
answer

a ridge of sand that connects an island to the mainland or to another island
question

Density
answer

mass divided by volume
question

Temperature
answer

the degree of hotness or coldness of a body or environment (corresponding to its molecular activity)
question

Thermocline
answer

In water, a distinctive temperature transition zone that separates an upper layer that is mixed by wind (the epilimnion) and a colder, deep layer that is not mixed (the hypolimnion)
question

Salinity
answer

a measure of the amount of dissolved salts and other solids in a given amount of liquid
question

Tsunamis
answer

A giant wave caused by an earthquake on the ocean floor
question

Currents
answer

water that moves in a certain direction; the river like flow of water in the oceans
question

El Nino
answer

(oceanography) a warm ocean current that flows along the equator from the date line and south off the coast of Ecuador at Christmas time
question

La Nina
answer

a cooling of the ocean surface off the western coast of South America, occurring periodically every 4 to 12 years and affecting Pacific and other weather patterns.
question

Sonar
answer

a measuring instrument that sends out an acoustic pulse in water and measures distances in terms of the time for the echo of the pulse to return

Get instant access to
all materials

Become a Member