Oceanography Essay

1067 Words5 Pages
Oceanography is the detailed study of the ocean. In the ocean there are many forms of life, habitats, regions, and types of motion. The ocean is an amazing thing covering over 70 percent of our earth. It is a gift of God that we take for granted. In the ocean there are many types of motion. One type of motion is tides. Tides are the systematic rise and fall of ocean water caused by the moon. The sun and moon pull on the earth and the water. The moon pulls most of the water nearest to it creating a high tide. On the other side of the planet, the moon’s pull is much weaker and the water forms a high tide bulge. When the moon, earth, and sun are in a straight line, called syzygy, we see the greatest difference between high and low tide water levels. These are spring tides and they occur twice each month. When the sun and moon are at a right angle, the pulls fight each other and cause a smaller difference between high and low tides called neap tides. Another type of motion is waves. Everything in the water causes waves, but the most common thing is wind. When wind passes over the surface of the water, friction causes it to ripple. The strength, distance, and length of the wind gusts determine how big the ripples become. The crest of a wave is its highest point. Wavelength is the horizontal distance, and wave height is the wave’s vertical distance. The last type of motion is currents. Currents are the ocean’s constant flow of water that is pushed on by either the wind or from tides that are caused by the moon’s gravitational field. Currents can occur along coasts, and sometimes only affect small areas. A longshore current is caused when waves strike the beach at an angle. The front part of the wave hits the shallow water first and slow down. Rip currents are a dangerous effect of longshore currents. They are sometimes called rip tides, and can happen when longshore
Open Document