Ch 24: Characteristics of Ocean Water, Currents & Waves

About This Chapter

Watch our video lessons to learn more about what ocean water is made of, how the tides work and what causes beach erosion. Get information on tsunamis and their effect.

Characteristics of Ocean Water, Currents & Waves - Chapter Summary

Let us help you refresh your knowledge of the components and characteristics of ocean water. Our instructors will introduce information on ocean circulation and how waves impact the shoreline. You'll also look at beach drift and longshore current. Once you've completed this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Describe the properties of ocean water
  • Explain circulation patterns in the ocean and how they influence climate
  • List some characteristics of shorelines and beaches
  • Name types of waves
  • Describe factors that contribute to longshore transport
  • Analyze the causes and effects of tides
  • State the causes of tsunamis

These brief and enjoyable lessons are developed and taught by expert instructors, who are available to answer any questions you may have. The short multiple-choice quizzes that follow the lessons offer a chance to gauge what you've learned and see where you need additional study.

7 Lessons in Chapter 24: Characteristics of Ocean Water, Currents & Waves
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Properties of Ocean Water

1. Properties of Ocean Water

The salty waters of the ocean have their own unique properties that differ from those of freshwater. Although salt is the main chemical found in ocean water, there are many others, including dissolved gases. Explore the properties of ocean water, including salinity, temperature, heat capacity, and density.

Ocean Circulation: Patterns & Effect on Climate

2. Ocean Circulation: Patterns & Effect on Climate

Ocean circulation refers to the patterns of water movement in ocean basins. Learn about ocean circulation, and explore how the patterns of ocean currents affect the climate. Gain understanding by reviewing ocean gyres, upwelling, and thermohaline circulation.

Characteristics of Shorelines & Beaches

3. Characteristics of Shorelines & Beaches

Shorelines and beaches are places where land meets a body of water, such as a lake or ocean. Learn the characteristics of a shoreline and understand the differences between headlands, bays, beaches, longshore drifts, and sandbars.

Waves: Types, Features & Effect on Erosion

4. Waves: Types, Features & Effect on Erosion

Review ocean waves' types, features, and effects on erosion. Differentiate between wind waves, ocean swells, tsunamis, and tidal waves and how the most powerful waves break down eroding coastal structures.

Contributing Factors of Longshore Transport: Beach Drift & Longshore Current

5. Contributing Factors of Longshore Transport: Beach Drift & Longshore Current

Longshore transport is the movement of sand and sediment parallel to the shore. Explore the factors contributing to how longshore transport occurs because of beach drift caused by the longshore current.

What Are Tides? - Causes & Effects

6. What Are Tides? - Causes & Effects

The term tides describe the daily changes in ocean water level seen at the coastline based on the gravitational pull of the sun and moon. Learn about the causes of high tides, low tides, semidiurnal tides, diurnal tides, spring tides, and neap tides, and explore their effects on coastal regions.

The Causes & Effects of a Tsunami

7. The Causes & Effects of a Tsunami

When earthquakes, landslides, and other disturbances occur beneath the ocean, a tsunami may result. Explore the definition, causes, and effects of tsunamis. Understand how tsunamis form, and recognize that they can be destructive to inhabited coastlines.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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