Apel, John R. APEL Associates, Rockville, Maryland.
Pilson, Michael E. Q. Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, Rhode Island.
Reid, Joseph L. Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California.
Osborn, Thomas Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.
Last reviewed:December 2019
- Physical Properties
- Dynamical properties
- Chemical Properties
- Major and minor elements
- Carbon dioxide
- Radioactive materials
- Changes in composition
- Distribution of Properties
- Pycnocline, thermocline and halocline
- Characteristics beneath the surface
- Abyssal waters
- Overturn to the bottom
- Middepth water
- Layer of low salinity
- Layers of high salinity
- Thermal Structure
- Fine structure
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
An aqueous solution of salts of a rather constant composition of elements whose presence determines the climate and makes life possible on the Earth and which constitutes the oceans, the mediterranean seas and their embayments. The physical, chemical, biological and geological events therein are the studies that are grouped as oceanography. Water is most often found in nature as seawater (about 98%). The rest is ice, water vapor and freshwater. The basic properties of seawater, their distribution, the interchange of properties between sea and atmosphere or land, the transmission of energy within the sea and the geochemical laws governing the composition of seawater and sediments are the fundamentals of oceanography. See also: Hydrosphere; Oceanography
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