1. What is the "Goldilocks Principle” as applied to Earth and the Oceans?
The Goldilocks Principle suggests that 1) Earth has just the right position- not too close to the sun &
not too far away and 2) When it was forming, Earth had just the right mass, large enough to retain
2. Which is greater - the average depth of the ocean, or the average elevation of the continents?
The average depth of the ocean is about 4 ½ times the average height of the continents above sea
3. Why do we say there is one world ocean? Over time, does water from theAtlantic and Pacific Oceans
mix with waters from the Baltic and Mediterranean seas?
We say that there is one world ocean because even though we have four oceans, they are all
connected. Over time, water from most all bodies of water mix due to the processes of
photosynthesis, evaporation, and precipitation.
4. Surface water on Earth most likely came from where?
Two major hypotheses: 1) Emission (degassing) of materials (volatiles) from Earth’s surface millions
of years ago; i.e. volcanic eruptions, hot springs, sea floor vents, etc. 2) E.T. such as cometary or
meteorite impacts. Models show that the entire ocean could have degassed in the first .5 billion years
or less. (Most likely 4 billion years ago)
5. How is Ocean deep water different from shallow water?
Deep water has a lower temperature, a higher salinity and a higher density than shallow water.
Respiration also occurs more so in deep water than it does in shallow water. Deep water makes up
80% of the total water in the ocean while surface water only makes up 2%.
6. Why is water a polar molecule? What properties of water derive from its polar nature?
Water is a polar molecule because it contains opposite charges. Because of its polar nature, water is
very strongly bonded together; therefore the boiling point of water is very high as well as its freezing
point. Water also acts as a “global thermostat” and has the remarkable ability to dissolve more
substances than any other natural solvent. Polarity is responsible for surface tension.
7. What did Rachel Carson suggest about how ocean chemistry may have changed over geologic time
(millions of years)? What did she think about the connections between river chemistry and ocean
Rachel Carson suggested that rain and other factors weather the continents and that rivers deliver
dissolved rock, including elements such as Ca, Na, & Cl, to the world ocean, which caused changes
in ocean chemistry over time (hyrdologic cycle). Ocean chemistry also changes due to volcanic gases
and the interaction of seawater with the seafloor.
8. How did geosc040 get it’s name: “The SeaAround Us” ?
Rachel Carson’s 1951 book titled “The SeaAround Us.”
9. What affect does photosynthesis have on the concentrations of CO and O in seawater? How do the
concentrations of CO an2 O vary 2ith depth in the oceans?
Photosynthesis occurs primarily in ocean surface water therefore there is more O in surface water
and less CO (2 is 2roduced and CO is cons2med by photosynthesis). Respiration occurs more
primarily in deep waters therefore there is more CO and l2ss O in deep2waters (Respiration
consumes O and produces CO ). Deep water also contains more CO because the solubility of CO
2 2 2 2
increases as temperature decreases a