Science - 2018-19

5.6 - Oceans

The student will investigate and understand characteristics of the ocean environment. Key concepts include

a)  geological characteristics;

  •  create and interpret a model of the ocean floor    Bloom's Level:  Create/  Understand
  •  label and describe each of the major features  Bloom's Level:   Understand 
  • research and describe the variation in depths associated with ocean features, including the continental shelf, slope, rise, the abyssal plain, and ocean trenches  Bloom's Level:  Understand)

b)  physical characteristics; and

  • design an investigation related to physical characteristics of the ocean environment (depth, salinity, formation of waves, causes of tides, and currents, such as the Gulf Stream) Bloom's Level:   Create)
  •  interpret graphical data related to physical characteristics of the ocean Bloom's Level:   Analyze
  • explain the formation of ocean currents  Bloom's Level:  Understand
  • describe and locate the Gulf Stream Bloom's Level:   Understand
  • analyze how the physical characteristics (depth, salinity, temperature) of the ocean affect where marine organisms can live Bloom's Level:   Analyze

c)  ecological characteristics.

  • design an investigation (including models and simulations) related to ecological relationships of the ocean environment Bloom's Level:   Create
  • interpret graphical data related to the ecological characteristics of the ocean, such as the number of organisms vs. the depth of water Bloom's Level:  Analyze)
  • create and interpret a model of a basic marine food web, including floating organisms (plankton), swimming organisms, and organisms living on the ocean floor Bloom's Level:  Create /Analyze


Adopted: 2010

BIG IDEAS

The Earth's oceans are complex environments.

UNDERSTANDING THE STANDARD

  • Oceans cover about 70 percent of the surface of Earth.
  • Important features of the ocean floor near the continents are the continental shelf, the continental slope, and the continental rise. These areas are covered with thick layers of sediments (sand, mud, rocks).
  • The depth of the ocean varies. Ocean trenches are very deep, and the continental shelf is relatively shallow.
  • Ocean water is a complex mixture of gases (air) and dissolved solids (salts, especially sodium chloride). Marine organisms are dependent on dissolved gases for survival. The salinity of ocean water varies in some places depending on rates of evaporation and amount of runoff from nearby land.
  • The basic motions of ocean water are the waves, currents, and tides.
  • Ocean currents, including the Gulf Stream, are caused by wind patterns and the differences in water densities (due to salinity and temperature differences). Ocean currents affect the mixing of ocean waters. This can affect plant and animal populations. Currents also affect navigation routes.
  • As the depth of ocean water increases, the temperature decreases, the pressure increases, and the amount of light decreases. These factors influence the type of life forms that are present at a given depth.
  • Plankton are tiny free-floating organisms that live in water. Plankton may be animal-like or plant-like. Animal-like plankton are called zooplankton. Plant-like plankton (phytoplankton) carry out most of the photosynthesis on Earth. Therefore, they provide much of Earth’s oxygen. Phytoplankton form the base of the ocean food web. Plankton flourish in areas where nutrient-rich water upwells from the deep.

ESSENTIALS

Essential Questions:

 What are the geological, physical, and ecological characteristics of the ocean?

 How are the features and systems of Earth's oceans interrelated?

 How have ocean environments been affected by weather? 

 What characteristics change in the Earth's oceans?

 How do changes in the Earth's oceans affect the ocean's ecosystems?

 How have organisms adapted to the Earth's ocean environments?


In order to meet this standard, it is expected that students will

  • create and interpret a model of the ocean floor and label and describe each of the major features.
  • research and describe the variation in depths associated with ocean features, including the continental shelf, slope, rise, the abyssal plain, and ocean trenches.
  • design an investigation (including models and simulations) related to physical characteristics of the ocean environment (depth, salinity, formation of waves, causes of tides, and currents, such as the Gulf Stream).
  • interpret graphical data related to physical characteristics of the ocean.
  • explain the formation of ocean currents and describe and locate the Gulf Stream.
  • design an investigation (including models and simulations) related to ecological relationships of the ocean environment.
  • interpret graphical data related to the ecological characteristics of the ocean, such as the number of organisms vs. the depth of the water.
  • analyze how the physical characteristics (depth, salinity, and temperature) of the ocean affect where marine organism can live.
  • create and interpret a model of a basic marine food web, including floating organisms (plankton), swimming organisms, and organisms living on the ocean floor.

KEY VOCABULARY

abyssal plains - a geological feature of the ocean characterized by flat or gently sloping ocean floor

breakers - a wave with a white crest on the open sea or one that breaks into foam on the shore

continental rise - areas of the ocean floor covered with thick layers of sediments (mud, sand, rocks)

continental shelf - a geological feature of the ocean which extends from a continent; an area of shallow water

continental slope - a geological feature of the ocean between the outer edge of the continental shelf and the deep ocean floor

current - streams of water running through the ocean; caused by wind or density differences; examples include the Gulf Stream; cause the mixing of ocean waters which affect plant and animal populations and affect navigation routes

deep ocean current - movement of water driven by density differences; most caused by differences in temperature or salinity

density - the degree of compactness of a substance

food web - a system of interlocking food chains

gravity - the force that attracts a body toward the center of the earth

Gulf Stream - warm ocean current flowing north from the Gulf of Mexico, along the east coast of the U.S.

island - a piece of land surrounded by water

marine - found in or produced by the sea

mid-ocean ridge - a geological feature of the ocean characterized by an elevated region (like mountains) between two diverging tectonic plates

oceans - cover about 70% of the Earth's surface; includes: Arctic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean & Southern Ocean

ocean trenches - a geological feature of the ocean characterized by a long, narrow, deep depression in the ocean floor

oceanographer - a person who studies the ocean

phytoplankton - plant like plankton; carry out most of the photosynthesis on Earth therefore they carry out most of the photosynthesis on Earth; form the base of the food webs in the ocean

plankton - are tiny free-floating that live in water

salinity - the amount of salt dissolved in water

seamount - a geological feature of the ocean; a mountain rising from the seafloor that does not reach the water's surface; typically formed from extinct volcanoes

sediment - matter that settles to the bottom (mud, sand, rocks)

shore - the land along the edge of a sea, ocean, or lake

sonar - short for sound navigation and ranging; method of detecting and determining the speed of objects using reflected sound waves

surface current - movement of water caused by wind

tide - thecyclic rise and fall of seawater; caused by the gravitational pull between the Earth, moon and sun

tide pool - pools on the sea shore which are filled with seawater.

tsunami - a long, high sea wave caused by an earthquake

water pressure - the force or push on an object caused by water; pressure increases with water depth

wave - a disturbance in the ocean that transmits energy from one place to another; usually generated by wind

zooplankton - animal - like plankton


Updated: May 20, 2016