Lesson Summary

Open ocean off the coast of Washington. Photo courtesy of slightlynorth/Flickr.

This week you've learned about some of the physical properties and topography of the world's oceans. The water that fills our oceans is thought to have originated from volcanism, meteorites, and comets. The ocean basins are constantly changing in both size and shape, due to the processes of plate tectonics. The salinity of the ocean water remains relatively constant, as dissolved minerals are deposited in the sea from weathering & erosion and volcanic processes. Waves, tides, and currents are also constant features of the oceans. Waves and surface currents are closely tied to global wind patterns. Atmospheric and oceanic interactions impact climate and weather, as evidenced by El Niño.
Last modified: Monday, 9 August 2010, 4:04 PM