Introduction to Oceanography is a textbook appropriate to an introductory-level university course in oceanography. The book covers the fundamental geological, chemical, physical and biological processes in the ocean, with an emphasis on the North Atlantic region.
- To understand the geological processes occurring in the ocean, it is important to recognize some of the phenomena that led to the formation and structure of the Earth. In this chapter we will start at the very beginning, with a discussion of the Big Bang and the origin of the universe and our solar system. From there, we will investigate the formation of the Earth, and the reasons behind its interior and exterior structure.
- Primary production is the creation of new organic matter from inorganic substrates, and it is this organic matter that serves as the base of the food web for most marine consumers. Primary production generally refers to the process of photosynthesis, or the utilization of light energy to produce chemical fuels that is undertaken by plants and algae.
- In this chapter we will examine the ways that the oceans and atmosphere interact with solar radiation to influence wind and atmospheric circulation, local weather phenomena, and global climatic zones.
- This chapter begins with the features of coastal regions, the processes that shape the coastline, and how humans try to control these processes. Following that, we will examine the different types of estuaries that are found in coastal areas.
- In this section we will examine the process of ice formation, the different types of ice that are found in the ocean, and the impacts of climate change on global ice cover.