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6: Physical Oceanography

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    Learning Objectives

    After reading this chapter you should:

    • understand the relationship between depth and pressure
    • understand the terms thermocline, pycnocline, and mixed layer
    • be able to describe temperature profiles for different regions of the ocean
    • understand how density is related to temperature, pressure, and salinity
    • understand how density changes with depth and latitude
    • understand how sound travels through water, and what physical factors impact sound transmission
    • understand the concept of the SOFAR channel
    • be familiar with the electromagnetic spectrum
    • understand the limitations of light penetration through water

    Thumbnail:  Temperature profile across the Atlantic Ocean from the coast of Florida to the coast of Africa (inset). There is rapid temperature change near the surface in the thermocline zone, but the deep water temperature is fairly stable (eWOCE).

    6: Physical Oceanography is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Paul Webb via source content that was edited to conform to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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