Tag: Ocean Science

Natural History / Natural History - 4 years ago

What is tectonic shift?

The Earth is in a constant state of change. Earth’s crust, called the lithosphere, consists of 15 to 20 moving tectonic plates. The plates can be thought of like pieces of a cracked shell that rest on the hot, molten rock of Earth’s mantle and fit s...

Natural History / Natural History - 4 years ago

What are PBDEs?

As part of NOAA's Mussel Watch Program, PBDEs are one of 150 different contaminants that are continually monitored by periodically sampling bivalves and sediment at 300 coastal sites around the nation. PBDEs are found in a variety of consumer...

Natural History / Natural History - 4 years ago

What is bombogenesis?

Fourteen of 20 hurricane-force wind events underwent bombogenesis in the North Atlantic during the first two months of 2014. This unusual activity can be seen in wind speed data from the period. In this image, blues indicate areas with wind speed...

Natural History / Natural History - 4 years ago

Are there oceans on other planets?

Europa is thought to have subsurface liquid water. Scientists hypothesize that Europa's hidden ocean is salty, tidal, and causes its ice surface to move, resulting in large fractures which are clearly visible in the above image. Although Europa i...

Natural History / Natural History - 4 years ago

What is a slough?

South Slough is a 4,771-acre National Estuarine Research Reserve located on Coos Bay Estuary in Oregon (Image credit: South Slough NERR). A slough is typically used to describe wetlands. Sloughs along the edges of rivers form where the old cha...

Natural History / Natural History - 5 years ago

What is a seiche?

This animation shows a standing wave (black) depicted as a sum of two propagating waves traveling in opposite directions (blue and red). Similar in motion to a seesaw, a seiche is a standing wave in which the largest vertical oscillations are at e...

Natural History / Natural History - 5 years ago

What is ocean acidification?

What is ocean acidification? Watch our video for a quick overview. For more than 200 years, or since the industrial revolution, the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has increased due to the burning of fossil fuels and l...

Natural History / Natural History - 6 years ago

What is 'Old Sow'?

While the turbulent water of Old Sow can be dangerous to small-craft mariners, its swirling motion has a positive environmental effect. It causes nutrients and tiny sea creatures normally found in the bay’s colder, deeper waters to rise to the su...

Natural History / Natural History - 6 years ago

What is a datum?

Near coastal areas, mean sea level (and other tidal datums) is determined by analyzing observations from a tide gauge. This image shows a tide gauge at the St. Charles Parish Water Level Monitoring System in Louisiana. A geodetic datum is an a...

Natural History / Natural History - 6 years ago

What is an iceberg?

Iceberg located in Ross Sea, Antarctica. To be classified as an iceberg, the height of the ice must be greater than 16 feet above sea level and the thickness must be 98-164 feet and the ice must cover an area of at least 5,382 square feet. The...

Natural History / Natural History - 6 years ago

What is the cryosphere?

Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska. One part of the cryosphere is ice that is found in water. This includes frozen parts of the ocean, such as waters surrounding Antarctica and the Arctic. There are places on Earth that are so cold that water is fr...

Natural History / Natural History - 6 years ago

What is the geoid?

A depiction of the United States geoid. Areas in yellow and orange have a slightly stronger gravity field as a result of the Rocky Mountains. While we often think of the earth as a sphere, our planet is actually very bumpy and irregular. The r...

Natural History / Natural History - 6 years ago

What is Digital Coast?

Data sets alone are not enough. For data to be truly useful, people often need assistance by way of relevant training and associated tools and information. The Digital Coast provides this complete package for the coastal management community. Pe...

Natural History / Natural History - 6 years ago

What is the Storm QuickLook?

This image is part of a Storm QuickLook generated on Aug. 25, 2011, as Hurricane Irene approached the eastern seaboard. When NOAA's National Weather Service issues a tropical storm warning for the U.S. or its territories, the Storm QuickLook i...