اقیانوس

از ویکی‌پدیا، دانشنامهٔ آزاد
پرش به: ناوبری، جستجو
فارسی English
پراکنش گیاهان در اقیانوس‌ها،
چگالی سبزینه‌ها: آبی = کم، سبز = متوسط.

اُقیانوس به پیکره‌های بزرگی از آب‌های شور گفته می‌شود که جزوی از آب کره می‌باشد و مرز آبی میان چند خشکی بزرگ و قاره را می‌سازد.[۱]

این واژه گاهی به قسمت‌های بزرگی از آنچه اقیانوس جهانی خوانده می‌شود، گفته می‌شود. واژه دریا و اقیانوس گاهی به جای یکدیگر به کار برده می‌شوند اما دریا پیکره‌ای از آب‌های شور است (غالباً بخشی از اقیانوس جهانی) که به خشکی‌ها نزدیک است.[۲]

اقیانوس زمین بزرگترین اقیانوس سطحی تأیید شده سیاره‌های قابل رویت است. تقریباً ۷۱ درصد از سطح کره زمین (که مساحتی حدود ۳۶۱میلیون کیلومتر مربع را شامل می‌شود) را آب‌های شور پوشانده‌اند که به طور کلی به چند اقیانوس و تعدادی دریا تقسیم می‌شوند. حجم کلی اقیانوس‌ها حدود ۱٫۳ میلیارد کیلومتر مربع[۳] با عمق متوسط ۳۷۹۰ متر است. در اقیانوس‌ها حدود ۲۳۰٬۰۰۰ گونهٔ جانوری شناخته شده وجود دارد، البته قسمت عمده‌ای از ژرفای اقیانوس‌ها کشف نشده باقی‌مانده و تخمین زده می‌شود که بیش از دو میلیون گونهٔ جانوری آبزی وجود داشته باشد.[۴] منشأ اقیانوس‌های زمین ناشناخته باقی‌مانده است، البته دانشمندان معتقد هستند که نخستین بار در دوران هادئن تشکیل یافته و ممکن است که منشأئی برای آغاز حیات در زمین بوده باشند. بیش از نیمی از این اقیانوس‌ها دارای عمقی بالغ بر ۳۰۰۰ متر (۹۸۰۰ فوت) هستند. میزان شوری آب اقیانوس‌ها غلظتی حدود ۳۵ نقطه از هزار را دارا هستند و در نزدیکی دریاها این غلظت شوری به میزان ۳۰ الی ۳۸ نقطه تغییر پیدا می‌کند.

اقیانوس‌های جهان (به ترتیب وسعت):

نام‌شناسی[ویرایش]

واژه اقیانوس از واژه یونانی okeanus) Ωκεανός) گرفته شده‌است. در متون قدیمی‌تر فارسی به آن دریای مُحیط یا بحر محیط می‌گفتند.[۵] بحر محیط به معنای «دریای دربرگیرنده (خشکی‌ها)» است.

در متون قدیمی‌تر، با اینکه از لحاظ نظری دریای محیط اقیانوسی محیط بر ربع مسکون به شمار می‌رفت، غالباً مراد از آن فقط اقیانوس اطلس بود. در این متون، وقتی که بحر محیط به معنای اقیانوس اطلس به کار می‌رود با بحر مُظْلِم یا بحر ظُلْمَة یا بحر ظُلُماتْ (دریای تاریکی) مترادف است و به شمال اقیانوس اطلس اطلاق می‌شود و این اسامی از هوای نامساعد و مخاطرات آن اقیانوس حکایت می‌کند.[۶]

دید کلی[ویرایش]

برخلاف دریاهایی که هم اکنون می‌بینید و ممکن است تکه‌تکه باشند و هیچ ارتباطی بایکدیگر نداشته باشند، اقیانوس‌ها یکپارچه هستند و با یکدیگر در ارتباط هستند. قسمت متصل این آب نمک‌ها اکثراً به اقیانوس جهانی یاد می‌شود. مفهوم «اقیانوس جهانی» بمعنی تکه‌های آبی پهناوری است که با یکدیگر در ارتباط هستند و از لحاظ اقیانوس سنجی دارای ارزش بسیار می‌باشند. تکه‌های عظیم این اقیانوس‌ها، در قاره‌های مختلف پراکنده هستند و شامل مجمع الجزایرهای گوناگون و معیارهای دیگر می‌گردد.

اقیانوس آرام و اقیانوس اطلس شامل زیر مجموعه‌هایی بر روی خط استوا، قسمت‌های شمالی و جنوبی آن است. در زمین‌شناسی قسمت‌های کوچکتر اقیانوس به نام‌هایی مانند "دریا"،"ساحل"،"دلتا" و سایر اسامی شناخته می‌شوند. همچنین بعضی از بخش‌های اقیانوس در خشکی وجود دارند که با اقیانوس جهانی در ارتباط نیستند مانند دریاچهٔ خزر در فلات ایران، دریاچه خوارزم (آرال) در آسیای میانه و دریاچه نمک در ایالت یوتا در ایالات متحده آمریکا که ممکن است با نام دریا شناخته شوند ولی در حقیقت دریاچه شور هستند.

از آنجاییکه اقیانوس‌ها قسمت‌های بزرگی از کره زمین را می‌پوشانند از این‌رو تأثیرات مهمی بر روی زیست کره دارند. تبخیر آب اقیانوس (بعنوان عضوی از چرخه آب) نقش مهمی در ایجاد بارش دارد و در واقع دمای اقیانوس یکی از مهترین کلیدهای تغییر آب و هوا در کره زمین است. قدمت اقیانوس‌ها، چیزی حدود ۳ میلیارد سال تخمین زنده شده و پس از آن بود که گیاهان و موجودات زنده بر روی آن پدید آمدند. لجه اقیانوس‌ها محل زندگی گونه‌های متفاوتی از حیوانات و گیاهان آبزی است و قسمت مهم اقیانوس‌ها در فواصلی بسیار دور از سواحل قرار دارند که تعیین‌کنندهٔ نوع زیست‌بوم‌ها در خشکی‌های سطح کره زمین هستند.

پنج اقیانوس جهان[ویرایش]

اقیانوس آرام Pacific Ocean.png اقیانوس آرام یا اقیانوس کبیر بزرگ‌ترین اقیانوس جهان است و یک‌سوم مساحت کره زمین را پوشانده است. تا پیش از سده شانزدهم میلادی مردمی از اندونزی و تایوان به مرور جزیره‌های پراکنده و دوردست اقیانوس آرام را کشف کرده و در بسیاری از آن‌ها سکونت گزیدند. دریانوردان اروپایی بین سال‌های ۱۵۲۰ تا ۱۷۹۹ میلادی با کشفیات خود به پهناوری این اقیانوس پی بردند.[۷] اقیانوس آرام هم‌چنین با عمق متوسط حدود ۳۸۰۰ متر، ژرف‌ترین اقیانوس جهان است. بیشترین آتشفشان‌های جهان (حدود ۷۵ درصد) نیز در پهنه اقیانوس آرام واقع شده‌اند. بیشترین جزایر جهان نیز در این اقیانوس واقع شده‌اند. تعداد جزایر این اقیانوس حدود ۲۵ هزار جزیره است که بیشترشان در جنوب خط استوا قرار گرفته‌اند.[۸]
اقیانوس اطلس Atlantic Ocean.png نام اقیانوس اطلس از اسطوره‌های یونانی گرفته شده و کهن‌ترین اشاره به این نام در نوشته‌های هرودوت دیده می‌شود. اقیانوس اطلس دومین اقیانوس بزرگ جهان است و یک‌پنجم سطح کره زمین را پوشانده است. این اقیانوس در دوره برده‌داری تا سده بیستم کانون بازرگانی جهان بود. امروزه آب‌های این اقیانوس با صید بیش از حد ماهی مواجهند.[۹] از نقاط معروف کناره‌های این اقیانوس می‌توان به جزایر قناری، جزایر باهاما، گرینلند، جبل‌الطارق، نیویورک، لندن، میامی، بوئنوس آیرس و هامبورگ اشاره کرد.[۱۰]
اقیانوس هند Indianocean.PNG اقیانوس هند سومین اقیانوس بزرگ جهان است و از جنوب آسیا تا آب‌های جنوبگان ادامه پیدا می‌کند. اقیانوس هند حدود ۲۰ درصد از پهنه اقیانوس‌های جهان را به‌خود اختصاص داده است. شهرهای سنگاپور، بمبئی، جاکارتا و جزیره‌های سری‌لانکا و ماداگاسکار از نقاط مهم این اقیانوس هستند. بازرگانان و دریانوردان عرب و ایرانی در دوره‌ای در اقیانوس هند فعالیت زیادی داشتند و از این طریق دین اسلام را از کرانه‌های شمالی‌تر این اقیانوس به مناطقی در جنوب چون اندونزی و مالدیو و زنگبار گسترش دادند.[۱۱]
اقیانوس منجمد جنوبی Southern Ocean.png اقیانوس منجمد جنوبی یا (در برخی متون فارسی دری افغانستان) اقیانوس یخ‌بسته جنوبی، نامی است که بخش‌های جنوبی اقیانوس‌های آرام، اطلس، و اقیانوس هند داده شده‌است. اقیانوس منجمد جنوبی چهارمین اقیانوس بزرگ جهان است. این اقیانوس تنها ۳۰ میلیون سال پیش شکل گرفته و به این خاطر «جوان‌ترین» اقیانوس جهان به‌شمار می‌آید. به خاطر تفاوت زیاد دما بین یخ‌پهنه‌های قاره جنوبگان با آب پیرامون آن، این اقیانوس توفان‌های شدیدی را تجربه می‌کند که شدیدترین بادهای جهان را دارند و این خطر بزرگی را متوجه دریانوردان این آب‌ها می‌کند.[۱۲]
اقیانوس منجمد شمالی Arctic Ocean.png اقیانوس منجمد شمالی یا (در برخی متون فارسی دری افغانستان) اقیانوس یخ‌بسته شمالی، کوچک‌ترین اقیانوس جهان است و سطح آن به طور کامل در داخل مدار شمالگان قرار گرفته است. پیرامون این اقیانوس تقریباً به طور کامل با خشکی احاطه شده است. حوزه این اقیانوس تا سال ۱۹۲۶ که برای نخستین بار یک ناو هوایی به نام نورگه از فراز آن گذشت کاملاً ناشناخته مانده بود.[۱۳] از خشکی‌های معروف این اقیانوس می‌تواند به گرینلند و نوایا زملیا اشاره کرد. میانگین ژرفای این اقیانوس ۹۷۸ متر است.[۱۴] بسیاری از یخ‌های این اقیانوس به خاطر گرمایش زمین در حال آب شدن‌اند.

لایه‌ها و ژرفاها[ویرایش]

لایه‌های پهنه‌های آبی
لُجّه
   بخش نورگیر
      برلجه
   بخش بی‌نور
      میان‌لجه
      ژرف‌لجه
      مُغاک
      زیرمغاک
روبُن
دریابُن
لایه‌بندی
لایه شیب چگالی
   لایه هم‌چگال
   دماشیب
   لایه شیب شوری
   ماده‌شیب
لایه‌بندی دریاچه‌ها
زیستگاه‌های اقیانوسی

اقیانوس شناسان، اقیانوس را بر اساس ویژگی‌های فیزیکی و زیست‌شناسی تقسیم‌بندی می‌کنند. لایهٔ لجه شامل همهٔ قسمت‌های باز اقیانوس می‌شود و خود می‌تواند بسته به عمق یا فراوانی نور به زیر لایه‌هایی تقسیم کردد. بخش نورگیر از سطح آب تا ژرفای ۲۰۰ متری را شامل می‌شود. این لایه‌ای است که امکان فتوسنتز در آن وجود دارد و از همین جهت بیشترین گونهٔ جانوری را داراست. از آنجا که گیاهان به فتوسنتز نیاز دارند، زندگی در پایین‌تر از این ژرفا باید به یک منبع دیگر وابسته باشد. در بخش بی نور این منبع می‌تواند ریزش آبزیان یا مجراهای گرمایی درون آب باشد. قسمت لجه‌ای بخش نورگیر را برلجه می‌گویند. قسمت لجه‌ای بخش نورگیر خود می‌تواند به زیر لایه‌هایی بر حسب دما تقسیم گردد. میان لجه قسمت بالایی را تشکیل می‌دهد. مرز پایینی آن را دما شیب °۱۲ تشکیل می‌دهد که در مناطق گرمسیری حدوداً در ژرفای ۷۰۰ تا ۱۰۰۰ متری است. ناحیهٔ بعدی ژرف لجه است که در محدوده دمایی ۱۰ تا ۴ درجه سانتیگراد قرار گرفته و معمولاً ۱۰۰۰ تا۴۰۰۰ متری را شامل می‌شود. بالای صفحهٔ مغاک، لایهٔ مغاک قرار گرفته که مرز پایینی آن در ژرفای ۶۰۰۰ متری قرار گرفته است. آخرین لایه زیر مغاک است که گودال‌های بستر اقیانوس را شامل می‌شود. این لایه در ژرفای ۶۰۰۰ تا ۱۱۰۰۰ متری قرار گرفته است. به موازات بخش بی نور لجه، بخش بی نور دریابن نیز قرار داردکه از سه ناحیه عمیق بستر دریا تشکیل شده است.


جستارهای وابسته[ویرایش]

منابع[ویرایش]

  1. "WordNet Search — ocean". Princeton University. Retrieved February 21, 2012. 
  2. "WordNet Search — sea". Princeton University. Retrieved February 21, 2012. 
  3. Qadri, Syed (2003). "Volume of Earth's Oceans". The Physics Factbook. Retrieved 2007-06-07. 
  4. Drogin, Bob (August 2, 2009). "Mapping an ocean of species". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 18, 2009. 
  5. لغتنامه دهخدا: بحر محیط.
  6. لغتنامه دهخدا: بحر محیط.
  7. encyclopedia.com
  8. pacific-ocean-facts. بازدید: اکتبر ۲۰۱۶.
  9. newworldencyclopedia. بازدید: اکتبر ۲۰۱۶.
  10. atlantic-ocean-facts. بازدید: اکتبر ۲۰۱۶.
  11. indian-ocean-facts
  12. Antarctic_Ocean
  13. arctic-ocean
  14. britannica.com

ویکی‌پدیای انگلیسی

پیوند به بیرون[ویرایش]

Further information: Seawater
For other uses, see Ocean (disambiguation).
Surface of the Atlantic Ocean meeting Earth's planetary boundary layer and troposphere, a range view which varies depending on the assumed surface elevation.[clarification needed]

An ocean (from Ancient Greek Ὠκεανός, transc. Okeanós, the sea of classical antiquity[1]) is a body of saline water that composes much of a planet's hydrosphere.[2] On Earth, an ocean is one of the major conventional divisions of the World Ocean, which covers almost 71% of its surface. These are, in descending order by area, the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern (Antarctic), and Arctic Oceans.[3][4] The word sea is often used interchangeably with "ocean" in American English but, strictly speaking, a sea is a body of saline water (generally a division of the world ocean) partly or fully enclosed by land.[5]

Saline water covers approximately 72% of the planet's surface (~3.6×108 km2) and is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas, with the ocean covering approximately 71% of Earth's surface[6] and 90% of the Earth's biosphere. The ocean contains 97% of Earth's water, and oceanographers have stated that less than 5% of the World Ocean has been explored.[6] The total volume is approximately 1.35 billion cubic kilometers (320 million cu mi)[7] with an average depth of nearly 3,700 meters (12,100 ft).[8][9]

As it is the principal component of Earth's hydrosphere, the world ocean is integral to all known life, forms part of the carbon cycle, and influences climate and weather patterns. It is the habitat of 230,000 known species, although much of the oceans depths remain unexplored, and over two million marine species are estimated to exist.[10] The origin of Earth's oceans remains unknown; oceans are thought to have formed in the Hadean period and may have been the impetus for the emergence of life.

Extraterrestrial oceans may be composed of water or other elements and compounds. The only confirmed large stable bodies of extraterrestrial surface liquids are the lakes of Titan, although there is evidence for the existence of oceans elsewhere in the Solar System. Early in their geologic histories, Mars and Venus are theorized to have had large water oceans. The Mars ocean hypothesis suggests that nearly a third of the surface of Mars was once covered by water, and a runaway greenhouse effect may have boiled away the global ocean of Venus. Compounds such as salts and ammonia dissolved in water lower its freezing point, so that water might exist in large quantities in extraterrestrial environments as brine or convecting ice. Unconfirmed oceans are speculated beneath the surface of many dwarf planets and natural satellites; notably, the ocean of Europa is estimated to have over twice the water volume of Earth. The Solar System's giant planets are also thought to have liquid atmospheric layers of yet to be confirmed compositions. Oceans may also exist on exoplanets and exomoons, including surface oceans of liquid water within a circumstellar habitable zone. Ocean planets are a hypothetical type of planet with a surface completely covered with liquid.[11][12]

Etymology

The word « ocean » comes from the figure in classical antiquity, Oceanus (/ˈsənəs/; Greek: Ὠκεανός Ōkeanós,[13] pronounced [ɔːkeanós]), the elder of the Titans in classical Greek mythology, believed by the ancient Greeks and Romans to be the divine personification of the sea, an enormous river encircling the world.

Earth's global ocean

Rotating series of maps showing alternate divisions of the oceans
Various ways to divide the World Ocean

Oceanic divisions

Further information: Borders of the oceans
1. Epipelagic zone: surface - 200 meters deep 2. Mesopelagic zone: 200 - 1000m 3. Bathypelagic zone: 1000m - 4000m 4. Abyssopelagic zone: 4000m - 6000m 5. Hadal zone (the trenches): 6000 m to the bottom of the ocean

Though generally described as several separate oceans, these waters comprise one global, interconnected body of salt water sometimes referred to as the World Ocean or global ocean.[14][15] This concept of a continuous body of water with relatively free interchange among its parts is of fundamental importance to oceanography.[16]

The major oceanic divisions – listed below in descending order of area and volume – are defined in part by the continents, various archipelagos, and other criteria.[9][12][17]

# Ocean Location Area
(km2)
(%)
Volume
(km3)
(%)
Avg. depth
(m)
Coastline
(km)
1 Pacific Ocean Separates Asia and Oceania from the Americas[18][NB] 168,723,000
46.6
669,880,000
50.1
3,970 135,663
2 Atlantic Ocean Separates the Americas from Eurasia and Africa[19] 85,133,000
23.5
310,410,900
23.3
3,646 111,866
3 Indian Ocean Washes upon southern Asia and separates Africa and Australia[20] 70,560,000
19.5
264,000,000
19.8
3,741 66,526
4 Southern Ocean Sometimes considered an extension of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans,[21][22] which encircles Antarctica 21,960,000
6.1
71,800,000
5.4
3,270 17,968
5 Arctic Ocean Sometimes considered a sea or estuary of the Atlantic,[23][24] which covers much of the Arctic and washes upon northern North America and Eurasia[25] 15,558,000
4.3
18,750,000
1.4
1,205 45,389
Total – World Ocean 361,900,000
100
1,335,000,000
100
3,688 377,412[26]
NB: Volume, area, and average depth figures include NOAA ETOPO1 figures for marginal South China Sea.
Sources: Encyclopedia of Earth,[18][19][20][21][25] International Hydrographic Organization,[22] Regional Oceanography: an Introduction (Tomczak, 2005),[23] Encyclopædia Britannica,[24] and the International Telecommunication Union.[26]

Oceans are fringed by smaller, adjoining bodies of water such as seas, gulfs, bays, bights, and straits.

Global system

World Distribution of Mid-Oceanic Ridges; USGS
Three main types of plate boundaries.

The Mid-Oceanic Ridge of the World are connected and form the Ocean Ridge, a single global mid-oceanic ridge system that is part of every ocean, making it the longest mountain range in the world. The continuous mountain range is 65,000 km (40,400 mi) long (several times longer than the Andes, the longest continental mountain range), and the total length of the oceanic ridge system is 80,000 km (49,700 mi) long.[27]

Physical properties

Further information: Seawater

The total mass of the hydrosphere is about 1.4 quintillion metric tons (1.4×1018 long tons or 1.5×1018 short tons), which is about 0.023% of Earth's total mass. Less than 3% is freshwater; the rest is saltwater, almost all of which is in the ocean. The area of the World Ocean is about 361.9 million square kilometers (139.7 million square miles),[9] which covers about 70.9% of Earth's surface, and its volume is approximately 1.335 billion cubic kilometers (320.3 million cubic miles).[9] This can be thought of as a cube of water with an edge length of 1,101 kilometers (684 mi). Its average depth is about 3,688 meters (12,100 ft),[9] and its maximum depth is 10,994 meters (6.831 mi) at the Mariana Trench.[28] Nearly half of the world's marine waters are over 3,000 meters (9,800 ft) deep.[15] The vast expanses of deep ocean (anything below 200 meters or 660 feet) cover about 66% of Earth's surface.[29] This does not include seas not connected to the World Ocean, such as the Caspian Sea.

The bluish color of water is a composite of several contributing agents. Prominent contributors include dissolved organic matter and chlorophyll.[30]

Mariners and other seafarers have reported that the ocean often emits a visible glow which extends for miles at night. In 2005, scientists announced that for the first time, they had obtained photographic evidence of this glow.[31] It is most likely caused by bioluminescence.[32][33][34]

Oceanic zones

Drawing showing divisions according to depth and distance from shore
The major oceanic zones, based on depth and biophysical conditions

Oceanographers divide the ocean into different zones by physical and biological conditions. The pelagic zone includes all open ocean regions, and can be divided into further regions categorized by depth and light abundance. The photic zone includes the oceans from the surface to a depth of 200 m; it is the region where photosynthesis can occur and is, therefore, the most biodiverse. Because plants require photosynthesis, life found deeper than the photic zone must either rely on material sinking from above (see marine snow) or find another energy source. Hydrothermal vents are the primary source of energy in what is known as the aphotic zone (depths exceeding 200 m). The pelagic part of the photic zone is known as the epipelagic.

The pelagic part of the aphotic zone can be further divided into vertical regions according to temperature. The mesopelagic is the uppermost region. Its lowermost boundary is at a thermocline of 12 °C (54 °F), which, in the tropics generally lies at 700–1,000 meters (2,300–3,300 ft). Next is the bathypelagic lying between 10 and 4 °C (50 and 39 °F), typically between 700–1,000 meters (2,300–3,300 ft) and 2,000–4,000 meters (6,600–13,100 ft) Lying along the top of the abyssal plain is the abyssopelagic, whose lower boundary lies at about 6,000 meters (20,000 ft). The last zone includes the deep oceanic trench, and is known as the hadalpelagic. This lies between 6,000–11,000 meters (20,000–36,000 ft) and is the deepest oceanic zone.

The benthic zones are aphotic and correspond to the three deepest zones of the deep-sea. The bathyal zone covers the continental slope down to about 4,000 meters (13,000 ft). The abyssal zone covers the abyssal plains between 4,000 and 6,000 m. Lastly, the hadal zone corresponds to the hadalpelagic zone, which is found in oceanic trenches.

The pelagic zone can be further subdivided into two subregions: the neritic zone and the oceanic zone. The neritic zone encompasses the water mass directly above the continental shelves whereas the oceanic zone includes all the completely open water.

In contrast, the littoral zone covers the region between low and high tide and represents the transitional area between marine and terrestrial conditions. It is also known as the intertidal zone because it is the area where tide level affects the conditions of the region.

The ocean can be divided into three density zones: the surface zone, the pycnocline, and the deep zone. The surface zone, also called the mixed layer, refers to the uppermost density zone of the ocean. Temperature and salinity are relatively constant with depth in this zone due to currents and wave action. The surface zone contains ocean water that is in contact with the atmosphere and within the photic zone. The surface zone has the ocean's least dense water and represents approximately 2% of the total volume of ocean water. The surface zone usually ranges between depths of 500 feet to 3,300 feet below ocean surface, but this can vary a great deal. In some cases, the surface zone can be entirely non-existent. The surface zone is typically thicker in the tropics than in regions of higher latitude. The transition to colder, denser water is more abrupt in the tropics than in regions of higher latitudes. The pycnocline refers to a zone wherein density substantially increases with depth due primarily to decreases in temperature. The pycnocline effectively separates the lower-density surface zone above from the higher-density deep zone below. The pycnocline represents approximately 18% of the total volume of ocean water. The deep zone refers to the lowermost density zone of the ocean. The deep zone usually begins at depths below 3,300 feet in mid-latitudes. The deep zone undergoes negligible changes in water density with depth. The deep zone represents approximately 80% of the total volume of ocean water. The deep zone contains relatively colder and stable water.

If a zone undergoes dramatic changes in temperature with depth, it contains a thermocline. The tropical thermocline is typically deeper than the thermocline at higher latitudes. Polar waters, which receive relatively little solar energy, are not stratified by temperature and generally lack a thermocline because surface water at polar latitudes are nearly as cold as water at greater depths. Below the thermocline, water is very cold, ranging from −1 °C to 3 °C. Because this deep and cold layer contains the bulk of ocean water, the average temperature of the world ocean is 3.9 °C[citation needed] If a zone undergoes dramatic changes in salinity with depth, it contains a halocline. If a zone undergoes a strong, vertical chemistry gradient with depth, it contains a chemocline.

The halocline often coincides with the thermocline, and the combination produces a pronounced pycnocline.

Exploration

False color photo
Map of large underwater features (1995, NOAA)

Ocean travel by boat dates back to prehistoric times, but only in modern times has extensive underwater travel become possible.

The deepest point in the ocean is the Mariana Trench, located in the Pacific Ocean near the Northern Mariana Islands. Its maximum depth has been estimated to be 10,971 meters (35,994 ft) (plus or minus 11 meters; see the Mariana Trench article for discussion of the various estimates of the maximum depth.) The British naval vessel Challenger II surveyed the trench in 1951 and named the deepest part of the trench the "Challenger Deep". In 1960, the Trieste successfully reached the bottom of the trench, manned by a crew of two men.

Oceanic maritime currents

Oceanic currents in 1943.
Amphidromic points showing the direction of tides per incrementation periods along with resonating directions of wavelength movements.

Oceanic maritime currents have different origins. Tidal currents are in phase with the tide, hence are quasiperiodic, they may fomulate various knots in certain places, most notably around headlands. Non periodic currents have for origin the waves, wind and different densities.

The wind and waves create surface currents (designated as « drift currents »). These currents can decompose in one quasi permanent current (which varies within the hourly scale) and one movement of Stokes drift under the effect of rapid waves movement (at the echelon of a couple of seconds).).[35] The quasi permanent current is accelerated by the breaking of waves, and in a lesser governing effect, by the friction of the wind on the surface.[36]

This acceleration of the current takes place in the direction of waves and dominant wind. Accordingly, when the sea depth increases, the rotation of the earth changes the direction of currents, in proportion with the increase of depth while friction lowers their speed. At a certain sea depth, the current changes direction and is seen inverted in the opposite direction with speed current becoming nul: known as the Ekman spiral. The influence of these currents is mainly experienced at the mixed layer of the ocean surface, often from 400 to 800 meters of maximum depth. These currents can considerably alter, change and are dependent on the various yearly seasons. If the mixed layer is less thick (10 to 20 meters), the quasi permanent current at the surface adopts an extreme oblique direction in relation to the direction of the wind, becoming virtually homogeneous, until the Thermocline.[37]

In the deep however, maritime currents are caused by the temperature gradients and the salinity between water density masses.

In Littoral zones, Breaking wave is so intense and the depth measurement so low, that maritime currents reach often 1 to 2 knots.

Climate

World map with colored, directed lines showing how water moves through the oceans. Cold deep water rises and warms in the central Pacific and in the Indian, whereas warm water sinks and cools near Greenland in the North Atlantic and near Antarctica in the South Atlantic.
A map of the global thermohaline circulation; blue represent deep-water currents, whereas red represent surface currents

Ocean currents greatly affect Earth's climate by transferring heat from the tropics to the polar regions. Transferring warm or cold air and precipitation to coastal regions, winds may carry them inland. Surface heat and freshwater fluxes create global density gradients that drive the thermohaline circulation part of large-scale ocean circulation. It plays an important role in supplying heat to the polar regions, and thus in sea ice regulation. Changes in the thermohaline circulation are thought to have significant impacts on Earth's energy budget. In so far as the thermohaline circulation governs the rate at which deep waters reach the surface, it may also significantly influence atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.

For a discussion of the possibilities of changes to the thermohaline circulation under global warming, see shutdown of thermohaline circulation.

It is often stated that the thermohaline circulation is the primary reason that the climate of Western Europe is so temperate. An alternate hypothesis claims that this is largely incorrect, and that Europe is warm mostly because it lies downwind of an ocean basin, and because atmospheric waves bring warm air north from the subtropics.[38][39]

The Antarctic Circumpolar Current encircles that continent, influencing the area's climate and connecting currents in several oceans.

One of the most dramatic forms of weather occurs over the oceans: tropical cyclones (also called "typhoons" and "hurricanes" depending upon where the system forms).

Biology

Further information: Marine biology

The ocean has a significant effect on the biosphere. Oceanic evaporation, as a phase of the water cycle, is the source of most rainfall, and ocean temperatures determine climate and wind patterns that affect life on land. Life within the ocean evolved 3 billion years prior to life on land. Both the depth and the distance from shore strongly influence the biodiversity of the plants and animals present in each region.[40]

Lifeforms native to the ocean include:

In addition, many land animals have adapted to living a major part of their life on the oceans. For instance, seabirds are a diverse group of birds that have adapted to a life mainly on the oceans. They feed on marine animals and spend most of their lifetime on water, many only going on land for breeding. Other birds that have adapted to oceans as their living space are penguins, seagulls and pelicans. Seven species of turtles, the sea turtles, also spend most of their time in the oceans.

Gases

Characteristics of Oceanic Gases [41][42][43]
Gas Concentration of Seawater, by Mass (in parts per million), for whole Ocean  % Dissolved Gas, by Volume, in Seawater at Ocean Surface
Carbon dioxide (CO2) 64 to 107 15%
Nitrogen (N2) 10 to 18 48%
Oxygen (O2) 0 to 13 36%
Solubility of Oceanic Gases (in terms of mL/L) with Temperature at salinity of 33‰ and atmospheric pressure[44]
Temperature O2 CO2 N2
0 °C 8.14 8,700 14.47
10 °C 6.42 8,030 11.59
20 °C 5.26 7,350 9.65
30 °C 4.41 6,600 8.26

Surface

Generalized characteristics of ocean surface by latitude [45][46][47][48][49][50][51]
Characteristic Oceanic waters in polar regions Oceanic waters in temperate regions Oceanic waters in tropical regions
Precipitation vs. evaporation P > E P > E E > P
Sea surface temperature in winter −2 °C 5 to 20 °C 20 to 25 °C
Average salinity 28‰ to 32‰ 35‰ 35‰ to 37‰
Annual variation of air temperature ≤ 40ªC 10 °C < 5 °C
Annual variation of water temperature < 5ªC 10 °C < 5 °C

Mixing time

The residence time is the amount of an element in the ocean divided by the rate at which that element is added to (or removed from) the ocean.

The mean oceanic mixing time is thought to be approximately 1,600 years. If a given element in the ocean stays in the ocean, on average, longer than the oceanic mixing time, then that element is assumed to be homogeneously spread throughout the ocean. As a result, because the major salts have a residence time that is longer than 1,600 years, the ratio of major salts is thought to be unchanging across the ocean. This constant ratio is often referred to as Forchhammer's principle or the principle of constant proportions.

Mean oceanic residence time for various constituents [52][53]
Constituent Residence time (in years)
Iron (Fe) 200
Aluminum (Al) 600
Manganese (Mn) 1,300
Water (H2O) 4,100
Silicon (Si) 20,000
Carbonate (CO32−) 110,000
Calcium (Ca2+) 1,000,000
Sulfate (SO42−) 11,000,000
Potassium (K+) 12,000,000
Magnesium (Mg2+) 13,000,000
Sodium (Na+) 68,000,000
Chloride (Cl) 100,000,000

Salinity

A zone of rapid salinity increase with depth is called a halocline. The temperature of maximum density of seawater decreases as its salt content increases. Freezing temperature of water decreases with salinity, and boiling temperature of water increases with salinity. Typical seawater freezes at around −1.9 °C at atmospheric pressure. If precipitation exceeds evaporation, as is the case in polar and temperate regions, salinity will be lower. If evaporation exceeds precipitation, as is the case in tropical regions, salinity will be higher. Thus, oceanic waters in polar regions have lower salinity content than oceanic waters in temperate and tropical regions.[54]

Salinity can be calculated using the chlorinity, which is a measure of the total mass of halogen ions (includes fluorine, chlorine, bromine, and iodine) in seawater. By international agreement, the following formula is used to determine salinity:

Salinity (in ‰)=1.80655 x Chlorinity (in ‰)

The average chlorinity is about 19.2‰, and, thus, the average salinity is around 34.7‰ [54]

Absorption of light

Absorption of light in different wavelengths by ocean [54]
Color: Wavelength (nm) Depth wherein 99 percent of wavelength is absorbed (in meters) Percent absorbed in 1 meter of water
Ultraviolet (UV): 310 31 14.0
Violet (V): 400 107 4.2
Blue (B): 475 254 1.8
Green (G): 525 113 4.0
Yellow (Y): 575 51 8.7
Orange (O): 600 25 16.7
Red (R): 725 4 71.0
Infrared (IR): 800 3 82.0

Economic value

The oceans are essential to transportation. This is because most of the world's goods move by ship between the world's seaports.[citation needed] Oceans are also the major supply source for the fishing industry. Some of the major harvests are shrimp, fish, crabs, and lobster.[6]

Waves and swell

Further information: Wind wave
See also: Sea § Waves

The motions of the ocean surface, known as undulations or waves, are the partial and alternate rising and falling of the ocean surface. The series of mechanical waves that propagate along the interface between water and air is called swell.

Extraterrestrial oceans

Artist's conception of subsurface ocean of Enceladus confirmed April 3, 2014.[55][56]
Two models for the composition of Europa predict a large subsurface ocean of liquid water. Similar models have been proposed for other celestial bodies in the Solar System.

Although Earth is the only known planet with large stable bodies of liquid water on its surface and the only one in the Solar System, other celestial bodies are thought to have large oceans.[57]

Planets

The gas giants, Jupiter and Saturn, are thought to lack surfaces and instead have a stratum of liquid hydrogen, however their planetary geology is not well understood. The possibility of the ice giants Uranus and Neptune having hot, highly compressed, supercritical water under their thick atmospheres has been hypothesised. Although their composition is still not fully understood, a 2006 study by Wiktorowicz and Ingersall ruled out the possibility of such a water "ocean" existing on Neptune,[58] though some studies have suggested that exotic oceans of liquid diamond are possible.[59]

The Mars ocean hypothesis suggests that nearly a third of the surface of Mars was once covered by water, though the water on Mars is no longer oceanic (much of it residing in the ice caps). The possibility continues to be studied along with reasons for their apparent disappearance. Astronomers think that Venus had liquid water and perhaps oceans in its very early history.[citation needed] If they existed, all later vanished via resurfacing.

Natural satellites

A global layer of liquid water thick enough to decouple the crust from the mantle is thought to be present on the natural satellites Titan, Europa, Enceladus and, with less certainty, Callisto, Ganymede[60][61] and Triton.[62][63] A magma ocean is thought to be present on Io. Geysers have been found on Saturn's moon Enceladus, possibly originating from about 10 kilometers (6.2 mi) deep ocean beneath an ice shell.[55] Other icy moons may also have internal oceans, or may once have had internal oceans that have now frozen.[64]

Large bodies of liquid hydrocarbons are thought to be present on the surface of Titan, although they are not large enough to be considered oceans and are sometimes referred to as lakes or seas. The Cassini–Huygens space mission initially discovered only what appeared to be dry lakebeds and empty river channels, suggesting that Titan had lost what surface liquids it might have had. Cassini's more recent fly-by of Titan offers radar images that strongly suggest hydrocarbon lakes exist near the colder polar regions. Titan is thought to have a subsurface liquid-water ocean under the ice and hydrocarbon mix that forms its outer crust.

Dwarf planets and trans-Neptunian objects

Diagram showing a possible internal structure of Ceres

Ceres appears to be differentiated into a rocky core and icy mantle and may harbour a liquid-water ocean under its surface.[65][66]

Not enough is known of the larger trans-Neptunian objects to determine whether they are differentiated bodies capable of supporting oceans, although models of radioactive decay suggest that Pluto,[67] Eris, Sedna, and Orcus have oceans beneath solid icy crusts approximately 100 to 180 km thick.[64]

Extrasolar

Rendering of a hypothetical large extrasolar moon with surface liquid-water oceans

Some planets and natural satellites outside the Solar System are likely to have oceans, including possible water ocean planets similar to Earth in the habitable zone or "liquid-water belt". The detection of oceans, even through the spectroscopy method, however is likely extremely difficult and inconclusive.

Theoretical models have been used to predict with high probability that GJ 1214 b, detected by transit, is composed of exotic form of ice VII, making up 75% of its mass,[68] making it an ocean planet.

Other possible candidates are merely speculated based on their mass and position in the habitable zone include planet though little is actually known of their composition. Some scientists speculate Kepler-22b may be an "ocean-like" planet.[69] Models have been proposed for Gliese 581 d that could include surface oceans. Gliese 436 b is speculated to have an ocean of "hot ice".[70] Exomoons orbiting planets, particularly gas giants within their parent star's habitable zone may theoretically have surface oceans.

Terrestrial planets will acquire water during their accretion, some of which will be buried in the magma ocean but most of it will go into a steam atmosphere, and when the atmosphere cools it will collapse on to the surface forming an ocean. There will also be outgassing of water from the mantle as the magma solidifies—this will happen even for planets with a low percentage of their mass composed of water, so "super-Earth exoplanets may be expected to commonly produce water oceans within tens to hundreds of millions of years of their last major accretionary impact."[71]

Non-water surface liquids

Oceans, seas, lakes and other bodies of liquids can be composed of liquids other than water, for example the hydrocarbon lakes on Titan. The possibility of seas of nitrogen on Triton was also considered but ruled out.[72] There is evidence that the icy surfaces of the moons Ganymede, Callisto, Europa, Titan and Enceladus are shells floating on oceans of very dense liquid water or water–ammonia.[73][74][75][76][77] Earth is often called the ocean planet because it is 70% covered in water.[78][79] Extrasolar terrestrial planets that are extremely close to their parent star will be tidally locked and so one half of the planet will be a magma ocean.[80] It is also possible that terrestrial planets had magma oceans at some point during their formation as a result of giant impacts.[81] Hot Neptunes close to their star could lose their atmospheres via hydrodynamic escape, leaving behind their cores with various liquids on the surface.[82] Where there are suitable temperatures and pressures, volatile chemicals that might exist as liquids in abundant quantities on planets include ammonia, argon, carbon disulfide, ethane, hydrazine, hydrogen, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen sulfide, methane, neon, nitrogen, nitric oxide, phosphine, silane, sulfuric acid, and water.[83]

Supercritical fluids, although not liquids, do share various properties with liquids. Underneath the thick atmospheres of the planets Uranus and Neptune, it is expected that these planets are composed of oceans of hot high-density fluid mixtures of water, ammonia and other volatiles.[84] The gaseous outer layers of Jupiter and Saturn transition smoothly into oceans of supercritical hydrogen.[85][86] The atmosphere of Venus is 96.5% carbon dioxide, which is a supercritical fluid at its surface.

See also

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Further reading

  • Matthias Tomczak and J. Stuart Godfrey. 2003. Regional Oceanography: an Introduction. (see the site)
  • Pope, F. 2009. From eternal darkness springs cast of angels and jellied jewels. in The Times. November 23. 2009 p. 16–17.

External links