Oceanography Identifying the Current Location New York Term Paper

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Oceanography

Identifying the current location

New York belongs to the state bearing the same name and is situated on the north-eastern coast of the U.S.A., at the point where the Hudson River flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The city's geographical coordinates are latitude 40047'N and longitude 73058' W. The city is renown for its cultural aura, but also for its financial, business, and trading organizations which play a major role to the national and world economy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City).

The point most surrounded by water

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When I looked at the globe, the land which seemed to be most surrounded by water was Antarctica. The continent is placed in the middle of the Southern Ocean or South Polar Ocean (which changed its name after being initially labeled as the Antarctic Ocean) which is considered to be the fourth largest water area in the world. If I had to choose a specific location on this land, I would probably opt for the South Pole which has latitude of 90 degrees south and a longitude which can be described by any of the meridians converging at the pole. The most southern point of the Earth was first reached by people on December 14, 1911, as a result of the expedition organized by the Norwegian Roald Amundsen and his companions who named the camp Polheim. Their observations and the data conveyed by the surveillance station emphasized that the South Pole's climate is one of the coldest on the Earth, mainly because of the high altitude created by the 3000 meter-thick ice cap which tops the land lying near the sea level. The absence of sunlight, in the winter, and the low position that the sun has in the sky, during the southern summer, explain temperatures raging from -650C in the cold season to -250 C. In the warm one. The climate also resembles the desert profile because of the strong winds blowing the snow and the rare precipitations (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Pole).

Term Paper on Oceanography Identifying the Current Location New York Assignment

The point most surrounded by land second look at the globe led me to the conclusion that Novosibirsk is the point where I would be most surrounded by land. Russia's third city after Moscow and Saint Petersburg and Siberia's largest town, at the same time, has a latitude of 82.93E and a longitude of 55.02N. It was founded in 1893 and until 1925 was named Novonikolayevsk, after Tsar Nicholas II. The city is situated along the Ob River, comprising a land area of 447.2km2 and a water area of 0 km2. It has a continental climate, defined by severe winters with temperatures ranging from -180C to - 200C, and hot, dry summers with temperatures between 200C and 250C. The town is the administrative center of Siberia Federal District and is famous for its cultural activities displayed by the local opera, ballet companies, art galleries, museums, and so forth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novosibirsk).

Comparison between the land and water areas in the northern and southern hemisphere

If one takes a look at the world's map, he can easily notice that the northern hemisphere is more generous in terms of land while its southern counterpart boasts a larger water area. In other words, if we focus on the half above the equator, we will observe that this includes North, Central and a part of South America, Europe, Asia and the largest part of Africa. When moving towards the half below the equator, the only land areas consist of Australia and the islands around it, South Africa, some of the islands situated in the south-eastern part of Asia, and most of South America.

Flying between the two most distant points

If I were to fly over the continents, between the most distant points, these would probably be Stockholm and Sydney. My route measures almost 13700 miles (22043.3 km) and its duration ranges between 24 and 31 hours if I travel by a jet aircraft with a high cruising speed of 700km/h, or respectively, 900 km/h. The flight would cover three continents: Europe, Asia and Australia (http://www.mapsofworld.com/utilities/world-airdistance-locator.htm).

Sailing between the two most distant points

If I were to sail between the two most distant points, I would opt for New York and Sydney. My ship would sail over the Atlantic Ocean until reaching a South African harbor (Cape Town, for instance) and, afterwards, would cover the Indian Ocean, until the Australian port of Sydney. If I were to fly between the same two points, the distance would measure 12052 miles (http://www.mapsofworld.com/utilities/world-airdistance-locator.htm).

Convergent plate boundaries

Plate boundaries fall into three categories: convergent or destructive boundaries which push against each other, divergent boundaries which move apart from each other and transform boundaries which "slip past each other, side to side" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convergent_boundary).

The convergent group includes three types of plate boundaries: continental-oceanic, oceanic-oceanic, and continental-continental. The first type consists of the meeting between a light continental plate and a dense oceanic one. Obviously, the latter will sink into the astenosphere because of its higher weight. The temperature and pressure that the sinking plate meets on its downward trajectory causes several chemical reactions which melt the mantle above the subducting plate. The liquid rock resulted (magma) has two options: either it solidifies below the surface and forms the basis of a mountain range (like in Sierra Nevada's case), or it breaks through and forms a volcanic mountain range. An edifying example is the small plate called Juan de Fuca which sinks beneath North America, causing earthquakes of significant magnitudes.

The second type of convergence occurs when two oceanic plates collide. Because both of them are heavy, the one that sinks is "the older, colder, and denser plate" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convergent_boundary).The result of the subduction is the rise of a volcanic mountain chain out of the ocean, a formation that specialists identify as island arcs. An example is the Aleutian Peninsula of Alaska which appeared after the subduction of the northern part of the Pacific Plate of Alaska and the north-western part of the North- American Plate.

The third category of convergence is caused by the collision between two continental plates. As both of them are light, none can sink. Consequently, they mount each other and form a towering mountain range. A perfect example may be the Himalayas which were born because the Eurasian Plate and the Indian Plate collided (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convergent_boundary).

The correlation between ocean depths and plate tectonic processes

As convergent and divergent boundaries have just been described in the paragraph above, the only remaining concept that must be clarified is the abyssal plain. This is a flat area which covers almost half of the ocean floor, boasting depths that range between 2200 and 5500 meters (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abyssal_plain).If one relates these three concepts to ocean depths, the most pertinent conclusions would be the following: divergent boundaries move apart from each other and create a higher ocean depth, convergent boundaries collide and cause the decrease of the ocean depth, while abyssal plains are flat, so the depth of the oceans remains the same.

Major ocean surface current patterns

The ocean water is divided into two major sections: the surface layer which is less dense and sits on the top, and the deep layer which is denser and sits on the bottom of the ocean. The boundary line between them is called pycnocline and is caused by the modification of temperature and salinity (http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/earth/Water/ocean_currents.html).The surface of the water is horizontally moved by currents that ships have always used for exploring or trading purposes. These are the result of the friction between the aeolian force and the water. In other words, currents are driven by winds which are generated by the Sun that heats the atmosphere. Currents are also influenced by the rotation of the Earth, the distribution of the sea water density, and the shape of the ocean basin which are said to have a great impact on their speed and direction (http://science.hq.nasa.gov/oceans/physical/OSC.html.).By far, one of the most important factors is Terra's rotative movement materialized in the form of the Coriolis force which causes the deviation of moving objects to the right, in the northern hemisphere, and to the left, in the southern one. Surface currents also form gyres - "great, circular motions of water in each of the major ocean basins centered on subtropical high-pressure region, with circulation clockwise in the northern hemisphere, and counterclock wise, in the southern one" (http://science.hq.nasa.gov/oceans/physical/OSC.html).Still, there are two regions where this gyre phenomenon does not exist. The first one is the Southern Ocean, home of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, the largest on Earth, boasting a total volume flux of more than 120 Sverdrups. The second exception is the equator where gyral motion doesn't occur because of the Coriolis force which is zero. (http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/Mi-Oc/Ocean-Currents.html).

Some of the major ocean currents are: North and South Equatorial Current, Equatorial Center Current, Notrh Atlantic Drift, Gulf Stream, Kuroshio Current, Antarctic Circumpolar Current, Eat Australian Current (http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/earth/Water/ocean_currents.html).

According to specialists, the speed is higher in the case of the western boundary currents (e.g. Gulf Stream) which flow towards the North Pole, in the northern hemisphere, and towards the South Pole, in… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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