Nifty Links by Ellin Beltz

Ocean Links

100-level geology students found and commented on the websites about the oceans of the world.

  • Fisheye View Coral Reef Cam - Live Under the Sea This is a cool site that I couldn't pass up. The fisheye view camera records coral animals, invertebrates and tropical fish behaviors using a video capture system. This camera is used to study coral behaviors. It is an interesting site that students can look at daily. It is the next best thing to actually being under the sea.

  • The E-Quarium at Monterey Bay is "about as close as an Internet tour can to actually being [on the ocean floor]," Jocelyn Kaiser, Netwatch.

  • Australian Broadcast Company. The ocean holds 1,300,000,000 km3 of water. Undersea earthquakes and other disturbances are the cause of tsunamis.

  • Greenpeace. The ocean plays a vital role in maintaining the biodiversity, regulating our climate and weather patterns, and providing food and jobs for millions of people.

  • Discovery Channel. This site answered many questions about oceans. It explained that ocean currents help to circulate nutrients, heat, water, and garbage that may enter the ocean. Another interesting fact is that the ocean is the most toxic after a rainstorm because of garbage and other material from land that may wash into the water.

  • Rutgers University. I found neat pictures that show winds and stuff off of the coast of the Carolinas (I think), but I'm not sure what they mean. (These are really neat pictures of ocean upwellings. eb)

  • Caribbean Marine Research Center. I didn't know Florida was running out of seafood, not that I eat meat anyway... (This site promotes aquaculture. Lots of interesting information. eb)

  • The Sea. I learned that if the oceans' total salt content were dried it would cover the continents to a depth of 5 feet. (Check out the sea creatures! eb)

  • Rice University: Click on Oceans from Home Page. I learned ... what is below the water surface. The ocean is a single body of water, but is not homogeneous ... There are many differences ... (such as temparature, sality, and density) in various parts of the ocean. I learned about water masses, the salinity, and convergence zones in our oceans.

  • Elementary Ed. In this site I learned in why our ocean is salty and most lakes are not salty... I learned that lakes are fresh water because they are bodies of groundwater cycle, in which huge volumes travel on the surface and underground on their way back to the ocean. However, oceans are salty because the salt in oceans originally was in rocks and soil from the Earth. Long ago, oceans were fresh water, but the water fallen onto the soil was drained through lakes into the ocean. A cycle is repeated, and all the salt is left in the ocean because salt can not evaporate. This is why we have salty oceans and some salty lakes.

  • Odyssey Expeditions. In this site I learned on how the ocean contains the largest repository of organisms on the planet, with representatives from all phyla. The sea has an huge life existance such as whales, fish, corals, shrimp, krill and seaweed, and microscopic bacteria floating freely in the sea. I have a fear of the ocean although I love it. The reason why I have a fear is because of the living things inside the ocean in which there is no record in keeping all of it. There still is mysterious underneath the ocean, and learning in this internet site of all the possible things living gives me the creeps.

  • Recreational fisheries caught 366 million fish and released 50 percent. Seafood consumption in US at 3.9 billion tons (1996). Market statistics and prices included on this site.

  • Oceans Organization. More than half the world's population live within a 60 mile distance from the coast. This is also cause for a rapid increase in coastal cities. Many of the world s largest cities are located near or on a coast. This also increases water pollution Six and a half million tons of litter ends up in the sea each year. In the Netherlands, they have built 800 miles of sea walls and dikes to hold back the ocean and seawater. If not for the walls, 40 percent of that country would be flooded. The problem of over-fishing is increasing. 75 million tons of fish are caught in the ocean every year. Fish reproduction can't keep up and populations are rapidly decreasing. This article said that the sea level has risen with an average of 4-10 inches over the past 100 years and scientists expect this rate to increase... Sea levels will continue rising even if the climate has stabilized, because the ocean reacts slowly to changes. 10,000 years ago the ocean level was about 330 feet (110 meter) lower than it is now. If all the world's ice melted, the oceans would rise 200 feet (66 meter)... Sound travels five times faster in the oceans than air. Waves are created by friction between water and wind. Oceans will completely disappear in about one billion years due to increased temperatures from the sun.

  • American Geophysical Union. New studies confirm that hydrothermal metamorphism occurs in mafic rocks throughout most of the oceanic crust, including beneath sedimented ridges... It really interested me because we had been talking about them so much in class.

  • Clean Ocean Action. This article talks about the improvement of the marine water in New York and possible improvements that people could do to help with restoring the oceans and the drinking water.

  • Oil Rigs as Reefs? This article talks about the debate that is going on with oil platforms becoming known as artificial reefs. Some want this cleaned up, while others don't want people to touch it, because they are afraid of what might happen to it if it is disturbed.

  • Museum of Science. I learned that millions of years ago there was no oceans on the planet because the surface of the Earth was so hot that water boiled away.

  • Report on Coral and Climate change This site taught me about the sensitivity of the coral reef system and how 53% of the world's reefs may already be threatened by human activities such as coastal development and overexploitation of marine products.

  • Navy Military Oceanography. The Pacific covers the area of 179.7 million square kilometers. Circulation is generally clockwise in the N. hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern hemisphere. The Andesite Line separates the deeper, basic igneous rock of the central Pacific basin from the submerged continental acidic igneous rock.

  • National Estuarine Research Reserve. From this site I learned what an estuary is. An estuary is where a river or fresh water body joins into a saltwater ocean. This curious environment contributes to a very beautiful and exciting ecosystem of specialized plants and animals. Estuaries come in all shapes and sizes. Several examples of estuaries are: bays, sounds, marshes, swamps, inlets, and sloughs. In hindsight I guess this information is not directly about oceans, however, it was found under a link about oceans, as well as the ocean obviously has a large impact on this environment. One final fact about estuaries that I found interesting was that they work as a water filtration device. As the tide brings out sediment and other earth materials the estuaries filter out these debris creating cleaner and clearer water for us to enjoy.

  • Midwater Medusae. Before my visit to this site I had never heard of the midwater. Midwater is considered the area in the ocean between 200 and 1000 meters deep. This area contains about a quarter of the entire ocean and a bulk of the ocean's biomass. In this region sunlight is too weak to drive photosynthesis but yet penetrates enough to influence the behavior of the animals in this region. This area has not been widely studied, but recently, thanks to new technology, studies of the midwater have greatly improved in numbers as well as in quality. One of the major new developments has been the increased knowledge about gelatinous organisms roles in the mesopelagic ecosystem.

  • Aquarius Underwater Lab. On this site I learned about Aquarius, the only underwater laboratory in the world. Aquarius is located 4 miles off the coast of Key Largo, FL. It is 63 feet deep and is adjacent deep coral reefs. Scientists live and work during 10 day science missions.

  • Oceans Canada. On this site I learned that oceans provide 97.5 percent of Earths' water. Oceans can be as deep as 10 kilometers. The color of the ocean can be altered by the concentration of phytoplankton. Tides are caused by the force of gravity from the moon. I also learned that Canada has the world's largest coastline.

U.S. Government Sites

National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration Sites

  • NOAA Windspeed Answers. This site explained why wind speeds are not the same over land and oceans. The speed of the wind over land is slower than over an ocean. The reason for this is that trees, buildings, sand, etc. slow the wind down. If you are out on the ocean, it is going to be a lot windier than if you are on land.

  • NOAA on Oceans. I didn't know that the ocean provides 70 percent of our oxygen and filters out carbon dioxide.

  • NOAA. On coasts it is vital to be environmentally knowledgeable to save food sources. As our world becomes more technologically advanced pollution is an ever-increasing concern. Vision 2025 is a way to help keep coasts healthy along with maintaining their beauty.

  • NOAA. A hazard many coasts will be facing in the future is sea-level rising. I thought it would be the reverse concern. Innovative technology is being created to prevent various hazards from occurring that would harm our coasts.

  • NOAA counts fish! I learned that every year for the first two weeks of July volunteer divers/snorklers participate in the Great American Fish count and they are trained to indentify different fish and their behaviors. This info. is used to help resource managers determine long term trends in fish populations and distributions. After all, underwater life is the least known about of all species!!

  • NOAA DARP I learned that there is an organization, DARP, the restores sites that have been damaged by oil or chemical spills. Ok, call me stupid or just naive but by visiting

    The Buoys site, I learned that there are many buoys placed in the oceans that give readings on Ocean conditions and a detailed wave summary. Wow, what a huge amount of detailed information!!

  • NOAA -- Oceans. We all need to realize that our daily activities affect our oceans. We have to conserve and protect them in order to preserve the marine environment. We need to keep in mind that the ocean provides about 70% of our oxygen and removes much of the carbon dioxide in the air... An undersea lava dome seems to be the beginnings of another Hawaiian island... They had some information about a underwater volcano that they have been watching about 1 mile off the coast of Oregon. I thought this was pretty cool, first of all because i have relation in Oregon and secondly because I figured you would have to go a long way from the U.S. to find a volcano with lava and not just volcanic ash.

  • Ocean turbidity. We searched "Ocean Turbidity" and found (1) Highly turbid ocean waters are those with a large number of scattering particulates in them. The highly scattered turbid water still reflects light while the highly absorbing water is very dark. (2) This site explained ocean turbidity, which was a term I was not familiar with. These kinds of waters have a large number of scattering particulates in them. The amount of Turbidity is measured by satellite by the amount of reflected light. (The whole site is a slow load from home, but great pictures and looks very interesting. eb) Same site, search "Bathymetry contours for the Southeast U.S." to see the different contour lines of the ocean floor and how steep and shallow the ridges are... This was a really cool site that showed the countours of the ocean surrounding Florida and the surrounding coasts. This map was just like the contour maps we look at for land. It showed lines that explained the depths in the ocean.

  • NOAA DARP. It was very interesting reading about DARP-Damage Assessment Restoration Program--it's a farily new organazation that was established in 1990. it's good to know that people dedicate their entire lives to such things.

  • NOAA Restoration. Review of Sediment Quality Investigations in San Francisco Bay I learned that sediments are an integral part of the aquatic environment that provide habitat, feeding, spawning, and rearing areas for many aquatic organisms. For this reason they are monitoring the sediments and the level of contaminants going into the water.

  • Florida Keys: National Marine Environments. I learned that this organization is creating marine environments for the publics view for educational and institutional programs and developments.

  • Extent & Condition of U.S. Coral Reefs. I learned in the Atlantic, off the coast of Florida, is the planet's third largest barrier reef system. Recent declines in coral reef health and disasters have captured the atention of the governments.

  • NOAA Sanctuaries. I learned that a marine sanctuary provides a hands on lab, where people can see the ecosystem. They are considered living classrooms... I never knew there was such a thing as a marine sanctuary--like I guess I knew they did research in certain places but I never knew they set aside certain land for such things--and there were like 12 different ones that I read about.

  • NOAA Restoration. I went to a site that told all about Mearns Rock in the Snug Harbor on Knight Island in Alaska. This was an area in the sea that was never cleaned after the Exxon oil spill. It had pictures to click on to get a description of the rocks taken in the harbor. This rock was covered with adult "Fucus" and another shiny, large seaweed. They can't tell what kind of mussels and barnacles are on it because of all the seaweed. This site showed the effects on the rock in the ocean as a result of the oil spill.

  • NOAA Restoration - watershed page. I learned that "watersheds" were land areas that drain into the rivers or seas. Aquatic ecosystems are affected by many characteristics of watershed.

  • The "Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research Control Act" was signed as a law on Nov. 13, 1998. Coast areas suffer from harmful algal blooms and hypoxia each year which threaten coastal ecosystems and endanger human health.

  • National Estuarine Research Reserve System. I found out that we have a network of protected areas established to improve the health of the nation s estuaries and coastal habitats by developing information that promotes informed resource management. This gives me hope that as humans we are doing something to better the earth, instead of just destroying it!

  • NOAA Public Affairs. I learned that "divers and snorkelers assist resource managers in identifying long term trends in fish populations and distributions, as well as heightening public awareness."

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Did you perchance know that the "First major solar storm of the new century" occurred on April 7, 2000? i did not. i'll tell you this much: i didn't even know what a solar storm was until now, so that's what this page has taught me. i also did not know that solar storms are the source of auroral displays, of which i have never seen but would some day like to. i guess this most recent storm was a pretty big deal and rated very high on the scale they use to evaluate how active these storms are. i also have come to realize that i might lead a quite sheltered life. maybe i'll take steps to change that.

  • DARP. On this site I learned about all the ways that DARP cleans up after oil spills and tries to restore ecosystems. What an extraordinary amount of work!

  • Tides Online I learned that there are 4 water stations currently in Storm Surge Mode. Charleston, NC; Gibralter, MI; Toledo, OH and Essexville, MI.

  • NOAA Coral Reef. I did not know about all the governmental awareness there is of the need to preserve our coral reefs! That is wonderful!

  • NOAA Public Affairs. There are chemosynthetic life forms existing around deep-sea hydrothermal vents that carry on life without the benefit of sunlight.

  • NOAA General. The deepest point in the ocean is generally believed to be 36,160 feet at the Marianas Trench in the Western Pacific Ocean.

  • NOAA. On this site I learned that coastal areas are the most developed areas in the the nation. Coastal areas constitute only 17% of land area but is home to more than 53% of the population. Coastal population is increasing by 3600 people a day, which is a total increase of 27 million people betweeen now and 2015.

  • NOAA'S Coral Reef Home Page. From this site I learned that 1997 was the International year of the Coral reef. I also learned that coral reefs are very important and lively places. Reefs are home to almost a million fish. The reefs are some of the most diverse living ecosystems. The are full of new and undiscovered biomedical resources. Reefs are also important protection for coastal communities. I know from experience in scuba diving that reefs are very beautiful and lively places, but I never new that they were some of the most diverse areas and that there was so much potential for new medicines there.

NASA Earth Observatory

  • NASA Earth Observatory. This site explained that by looking at ocean cycles, we can see that currently the earth s temperature is rising. This means that we will go through a fast period of global warming. The tides can help us predict when the next climate change will occur.

  • NASA - Oceanic Facts. Ninety percent of all volcanic activity occurs in the oceans. In 1993, scientists located the largest known concentration of active volcanoes on the sea floor in the South Pacific. This area, the size of New York state, hosts 1,133 volcanic cones and sea mounts. Two or three could erupt at any moment.

  • Topex from NASA. Great information on ocean topography images. There is a website that talks about ocean drilling and how it actually helps find out information about the environmental information trapped in the ocean floor which was really interesting.

  • Earth Observatory. The Bering Sea changed colors due to a type of one-celled microscopic plant. The sea changed color from a deep blue to an aquamarine color in a matter of weeks due to the one-celled object called a Coccolithophore.

  • Earth Observatory - Eye on the Ocean. A change in sea level is directly correlated to a change in therocline depth. Thermocline is a sharp separation of warm upper water from cold deeper water in the ocean...I never knew that El Nino was related to the ocean. is this something i should have known? The site stated it as if it was really obvious.

  • Earth Observatory - Lovely Dark Deep. I never knew how intricate oceans were with their tidal mixing and everything. Also, I did not know what a big role oceans play in climate.

  • Earth Observatory - Color of Algae. El Nino is not only affecting the weather but also where algae grows in the ocean.

  • NASA Earth Observatory Being it that i'm in college and completely unaware of what's going on in the world, i have to plead ignorance on the subject of hurricane floyd (my learning topic of the site). it's bad enough that i didn't know it happened, but it's even worse that i haven't even heard of its effects on southern U.S. considering i was there about 1 1/2 weeks ago for spring break. this site went on to talk about the lasting effects of all the run-off, sewage, dead animals, pesticides, etc. that was dumped into all the local rivers and ponds and also the atlantic ocean, and of the fear of an outbreak of an algae bloom. maybe i should attempt to read a newspaper here and there. Another student wrote: The third topic was the hardest to find any good material, but I found something on the earth observatory site. The first site is called Unusually Hot, Cold Oceans Create Corridor for More Storms Since the temperatures in the alantic have been 2 to 4 degrees warmer than normal and the Pacific have been relatively cold, these conditions have forced the jet stream much farther north and created a corridor for newly born hurricanses to move unimpeded toward the alantic coast. I find this interesting because I did not think that teperature difference has had that major effect on weather.

  • Carbon Dioxide Stored in Subtropical Oceans. ...scientists found tons of carbon dioxide stored in the southern ocean surrounding Antarctica. This ocean soaks carbon dioxide like a sponge from the atmosphere, but the greenhouse gas does not stay there, but ends up deep in the subtropical ocean. The ocean absorbs about one-third of all man-maid carbon dioxide and this happens mainly in cold areas because carbon dioxide dissolves easily in cold water. the scientists think that global warming will help the problem a little bit, but will cause another problem.

  • Eye on the Ocean. The oceans and the atmosphere are eternally intertwined in a game of give-and-take. Each reacts to changes in the other which can snowball until the system builds to a point where everyday people notice the effects. In 1996 the east winds which were keeping the Pacific waters warm mixed with Peru's cold waters and was the cause of El Nino which was later blamed for destroying homes, taking lives, and consuming vast acres of normally damp forests. By watching the oceans and making predictions for the up coming seasons everyone was ready for what was to come. ..The ocean, in contrast to the overlying atmosphere, changes over periods from months to years to decades instead of in minutes, hours, or days.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Sites

  • EPA. The oceans support 28.3 million jobs. That is a lot of jobs. The other is that 80 percent of life on earth is found underwater. This really shocked me also. You figure with 5 billion people on earth, plus every other living thing, that make for a whole lot of things living in the ocean... This site included many protective ordinances for the coral reef systems. Protection is given under acts like the Clean Water Act, Rivers and Harbors Act, and the Santuaries Act.

  • EPA. I thought it was great to read about the different efforts the EPA was doing such as participating in an interagency effort to promote understanding of the importance of the marine environment and to raise public awareness.

  • EPA.More than half the U.S. population lives in a county touching the ocean.

  • EPA.Air pollution can have a significant impact on water quality.

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Ellin Beltz
December 24, 2004
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