Ch 17: Oceans

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons and learn about the characteristics of the world's oceans. These engaging lessons are just a portion of our online study guide and video collection.

Oceans - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

The oceans comprise the majority of our planet and influence our culture, commerce, and even the climate. The lessons in this chapter, led by knowledgeable and experienced instructors, explore many aspects of the oceans, including the physical features of their basins, the content of ocean water, and how the tides work. By the end of this chapter, you should have an understanding of:

  • Physical features of the ocean, including the oceanic ridge, the oceanic basin, continental margins, and shorelines
  • The makeup of ocean water
  • The factors contributing to longshore transport
  • Organisms that live in the ocean
  • Ocean currents and how they impact climate

Video Objective
Active and Passive Continental Margins Compare and contrast active and passive continental margins.
Ocean Basins: Definition, Formation, Features, and Types Describe major features and types of deep ocean basins.
Oceanic Ridge System: Formation and Distribution Describe formation and distribution of the oceanic ridge system.
Properties of Ocean Water Describe the composition of seawater.
Types of Marine Organisms Describe the nature of the various marine life zones.
Ocean Circulation: Patterns and Effect on Climate Describe the surface ocean currents and their effect on climate.
Characteristics of Shorelines and Beaches Describe the characteristics of shorelines and beaches.
Waves: Types, Features, and Effect on Erosion Describe wave features and effect on erosion.
Contributing Factors of Longshore Transport: Beach Drift and Longshore Current Describe how beach drift and longshore current contribute to longshore transport.
What Are Tides? - Causes and Effects Describe the causes of tides and their effect on the ocean and coastal regions.

9 Lessons in Chapter 17: Oceans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Active & Passive Continental Margins

1. Active & Passive Continental Margins

Continental margins are areas that separate the continental crust and oceanic crust. Discover the differences between the tectonically active continental margins and the relatively quiet passive continental margins.

Ocean Basins: Definition, Formation, Features & Types

2. Ocean Basins: Definition, Formation, Features & Types

Ocean basins are those areas found under the sea. They can be relatively inactive areas where deposits of sediment slowly collect or active areas where tectonic plates meet. Learn how ocean basins form and about features such as oceanic ridges and trenches.

Oceanic Ridge System: Formation & Distribution

3. Oceanic Ridge System: Formation & Distribution

The oceanic ridge system is a continuous underwater mountain range with parts found in every ocean of the world. The ridge system is created when magma rising between diverging plates of the lithosphere cools and forms a new layer of crust.

Properties of Ocean Water

4. Properties of Ocean Water

Ocean waters are salty and contain minerals and dissolved gases. They also have a high heat capacity and vary in density depending on temperature and salinity. Learn more about the unique chemical and physical properties of ocean water.

Types of Marine Organisms

5. Types of Marine Organisms

Many marine organisms thrive under the surface of the ocean. Learn about the biodiversity of the oceans, from the microscopic plankton to the enormous whales, and how these organisms adapt to their oceanic environment.

Characteristics of Shorelines & Beaches

6. Characteristics of Shorelines & Beaches

Shorelines and beaches are constantly changing due to forces, such as waves, winds and currents. Learn about characteristics of shorelines, including headlands, bays, beach berms, sand dunes, spits, tombolos, barrier islands and lagoons.

Waves: Types, Features & Effect on Erosion

7. Waves: Types, Features & Effect on Erosion

There are different types of ocean waves, including wind waves, tsunamis and tidal waves. Learn the features of waves and how their erosive effect creates the unique features found on the shoreline.

Contributing Factors of Longshore Transport: Beach Drift & Longshore Current

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

The longshore transport is the process responsible for the movement of sand and sediment along the coastline. Sand and other particles are transported with the help of the longshore current and beach drift. Learn how these factors shape shorelines.

What Are Tides? - Causes & Effects

9. What Are Tides? - Causes & Effects

Tides rise and fall under the influence of the gravitational pull of the moon and sun. Learn about different tides, why they are predictable and their effects on coastal regions of the world.

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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