Essay: Force of the Winds

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¶ … force of the winds is the major cause of patterns produced on the ocean surface. They are then modified by the effect of the Carioles Force due to the earth's rotation. Like gyres, the ocean floor dictates their characteristics (Gardiner, 2010). On question 2, swells, breaking surf and tsunamis despite all being products of the ocean activities, the tsunamis prove more violent in terms of force and speed (Crouse, n.d.). On question 3, the paper illustrates that tidal patterns will vary depending on their location in the ocean as there exists varying gravitational forces that changes from the equator towards the poles, hence the characteristics and types of tidal patterns (Lee, and Normark, 2009, p. 223). On question 4, pelagic and benthic survival capabilities are differentiated where it all depends on the adaption of the organisms (Svitil, n.d.). In the last question, threats to marine ecosystems are mostly caused by inappropriate use of land and ocean resources hence the need to practice safer control of available resources (Makai, n.d.).

Oceanography

Answer to question 1

The water that travels on the surface ocean produces uniformly recurring ocean pattern that are referred to as surface ocean currents and these currents are produced by the force of the winds that originate from the effect of the earth's spin and by the Coriolis Effect. From their capabilities, winds are known to move water to the depth of 400 meters (Gardiner, 2010). The moving waters create surface ocean currents of large scale that are circular in shape and known as gyres. These gyres will exhibit a clockwise movement when they appear in the Northern Hemisphere where else those in the Southern Hemisphere will depict an anticlockwise movement. This effect is created by the Coriolis Effect. Contrary to other locations, when gyres reach the poles, they happen to produce opposite circulations opposed to the immediate circulations. From the above, the ocean surface currents are known to produce uniformly recurring patterns, but will at some times vary and are known to transport heat over the world thus resulting to regional climatology. This is because, the sun has greatest heating at the equator and the heating reduces as one goes further from the quarter, towards the poles. These currents will either be deep currents or shallow currents where else others will be shallow and broad. These currents are greatly affected by the surface of the ocean hence dictating their speed and this will to some extend vary from their original depths as well as speed as they travel. In this regard, the surface ocean currents patterns can thus be either of large scale or small scale. For instance, the Gulf Stream is a surface ocean current that is found in the Northern parts of the Atlantic Ocean and studies indicate that this current moves up to 4,500 times much water when compared to the Mississippi river (Gardiner, 2010). Moreover, the surface ocean currents produces whirling waves on the ocean known as eddies.

Answer to question 2

Despite Tsunamis, swells and ocean surfs being results of ocean activities, they differ significant in their characteristics. Tsunamis on their part are seismic sea waves that results from the forceful impact or tremor that affects the ocean, like for instance, an undersea earthquake. Research indicates that tsunamis/seismic sea waves have typical wavelengths of approximately 200 meters thus exhibit as shallow a wave (low and wide in deep waters) that is, exhibiting depths that are not more that one-twentieth of their wavelength. Despite their shallowness, they are known to reach speeds of 700km/h when they appear on open waters but typical speed ranges between 400 and 500 miles per hour. The high speeds affect tsunami wave heights such that they appear insignificant in deep sea, however when they reach shallow waters, they can like on the coast lines exceed 100 ft in height. The amazing characteristic of tsunamis is that they can travel for longer distances in ocean without being noticed up to when they arrive on land. An example of tsunamis is the seismic waves influenced by the earthquakes that happen in Aleutian Trench that hits Hawaii in the Pacific (Crouse, n.d.).

Swell waves represents the seas that have shifted from their point of formation to a different location. From their varying wavelengths and speeds, they tend to shift in an outward direction form where there are winds and later disintegrate to create individual groups of waves that have unique wave periods. Due to the absence of the wind at this stage, they typically exhibit a sine wave formation hence smooth and uniform. In the events when there happens to be a single swell wave, their periods remain approximately uniform.

Breaking surf waves are results of effect of the ocean floor as a wave approaches a land mass, an influence that significantly affects the profile of the wave. This effect results to the wave exhibiting slower circulation motions at its base, where else the top remains unaffected (speed unaffected) and this causes the wave to lean forward as the wave draws closer to the coast line. The effect of this forward inclination reaches ratios of 1:7 causing the wave to crumble on its top hence a breaker. Breaking surf can also result to a spilling breaker that slowly approaches a sandy beach, where a large incline wave have its energy drawn from a large cross sectional area. On the other hand, a plunging breaker will result from the wave approaching a steep coast line, and thus it creates a crest that is curled and travelling over some air hence making the curling wave to move at faster speeds (Crouse, n.d.).

Answer to question 3

Tidal patterns as periodic changes of seal level from a gravitational effect of the moon and the sun to the sea water; it is explained by the equilibrium theory of the tides where it applies physics laws to explain tidal patterns. To understand tidal patterns well, as they are affected by the landmasses, ocean basins properties, and rotation of the earth, scientists uses the dynamic theory of tides. Tides will have different characteristics over different locations over the world, like for example; the tidal patterns experienced in the Mexican Gulf and the Southeast Asian coastline have a diurnal pattern due to the effect of shallow inland seas. Other areas like the North America Atlantic coast have a semidiurnal tide where else the United States pacific coast will experience a mixed pattern (Crouse, n.d.). In addition, the position of the earth and the sun relative to the earth will determine the characteristics of the tidal pattern. Moreover, the Coriolis Effect affects the tidal patterns because of the earth's rotation. As this effect is different at different locations over the earth, its force will vary form the equator towards the poles. This force influences atmospheric circulations that in turn modify the ocean currents depending on location. For example, orientation will typically be oval and regular along the coastal shelf as well as being parallel to the isobars. Studies indicate that a straight coastline will affect amplitudes of tidal patterns. Considering a bar tropic semidiurnal wave that remains insignificant, like in the case of the wave that comes from the Californian coast, the local dynamics must play a part. For instance the amplitude of the tidal wave at Palos Verdes shelf is affected as a result of the width of the shelf where else the small tidal waves will appear at areas with narrow shelf like at Vicente (Lee, and Normark, 2009, p. 223). On the other hand, there exits mechanisms that are able to produce internal tides exhibiting an average depth that is greater or less, and not equal to zero. For instance, considering the central Southern California bay which has a depth of approximately 65 m, it forms a small higher layer as part of a large scale system appearing near offshore ridges and islands which experiences a 180 degree change of phase. The internal tidal pattern happens on deep Sea Islands or at some times near continental inclinations with significant angles that help in formation of the internal tidal waves. In this case, the tidal wave will experience a break where the upper level currents reach the coast line.

Answer to question 4

Despite the available limited knowledge about the undersea, the place is amazing with the most obvious problem as lack of oxygen. The two zones, pelagic (open waters) and benthic (ocean bottom) have however different limitations that enable survival. Considering pelagic zones first, where some of the marine organisms are at the mercy of the ocean currents, such as the plankton, as others like nekton can defeat ocean currents, survival here depends on the special adaption of the organisms. For the best part of the millennia, animals have evolved to establish special tricks that enable their survival in terms of buoyancy. For instance, the fish has unique gas-filled swimming bladders/lighter than water stores where else the jelly fish and other large organisms are able… [END OF PREVIEW]

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