The Ultimate Oceanography Quiz
By: Nathan Chandler
About This Quiz
Most of our planet is covered by oceans, parts of which we have yet to explore. How much do you know about the oceans and oceanography, the study of the great waters?
Modern oceanography is typically attributed to the Challenger Expedition, which began when?
The British expedition took rock samples, recorded water temperatures and performed many other important observations.
How long did the Challenger Expedition last?
The journey took the crew all around the world, from England to the Hawaiian Islands.
What topic does physical oceanography research?
The chemistry of sea water changes constantly depending on weather conditions and many other factors.
The shallow areas where land meets water
The traits of underwater soils
In what year was the Gulf Stream discovered?
But before its official discovery, sailors had already been putting it to consistent use for their journeys.
What is the approximate temperature of the deep ocean?
The deep ocean is a dark and frigid place.
About how many new plant and animal species did researchers find during the Challenger Expedition?
The nearly 69,000-mile trip exposed the crew to all manner of exciting flora and fauna.
What percentage of the world's volcantic activity occurs within the oceans?
Those volcanic eruptions have a large impact on the surrounding ecosystems.
Who named the Gulf Stream?
His numerous journeys across the Atlantic gave him ample time to measure and observe the ocean.
Which oceanographer's last film documented the effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska?
His nine-season TV series enthralled humans with new perspectives on the underwater world.
If you study chemical elements in seawater, you're practicing which branch of oceanography?
The oceans perpetually cycle chemicals of all kinds through their currents.
How did the first researchers determine ocean depths?
They refracted light into the depths.
It was called sounding, and it was primitive but effective.
They attached rope to a large fish and released it.
In feet, what's the greatest difference between high and low tides anywhere on Earth?
This enormous tide happens in the Bay of Fundy, near Nova Scotia.
How many tons of water flow in and out of the Bay of Fundy during one tide cycle?
That's more than the total flow of Earth's freshwater rivers.
Which explorer-oceanographer finally explained the reason for "dead water?"
It's an odd phenomenon where salty and fresh water don’t mix, reducing a ship propeller's ability to move a ship.
What is NOT a primary contributing factor to ocean currents?
Temperature is another major variable in currents.
Which oceanographic institution came first?
Virginia Institute of Marine Science
International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
It was founded in 1902 and the headquarters is in Denmark.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
What is El Nino?
A surge of cold water that dips into the Atlantic Ocean about every four years.
An occasional shift of warm water from the western to eastern Pacific Ocean.
El Nino can cause crazy changes in weather patterns that impact millions of people.
Increasingly warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico that dramatically shift weather patterns.
A company in which country developed Deepsea Challenger, which was built to dive to the deepest spot on Earth?
Hollywood director James Cameron dove to the bottom of Challenger Deep in the machine in 2012.
Rising ocean temperatures account for what percentage of energy accumulation from global warming?
The spiking temperatures affect everything from sea life to weather.
Which country has the longest ocean coastline?
It has more than 56,000 miles of coastline.
How many sonar measurements did the German Meteor expedition use to document the Mid-Atlantic ridge?
The expedition lasted nearly two years and confirmed that the ridge was the longest mountain range on Earth.
Mary Sears was a Navy commander and oceanographer who spent many years studying which creatures?
One of her research titles was planktonologist.
What was the name of one of the first oceanographical texts ever published?
"Physical Geography of the Sea"
It was written by Matthew Maury, who headed the United States Naval Observatory.
In what year did Matthew Maury publish his groundbreaking text, "Physical Geography of the Sea?"
Countries from around the world sent data to Maury for analysis and documentation in the book.
What is the record for the tallest iceberg?
Keep in mind that 7/8ths of icebergs are submerged.
What tools do oceanographers often use to predict El Nino-related phenomena?
The buoys send streams of data that scientists use to predict weather and more.
Which explorer-oceanographer earned the nickname "The Sturgeon General?'
She was a chief scientist at NOAA and has spent more than 6,500 hours underwater.
What ocean feature did Bruce Heezen and Maurice Ewing discover in 1953?
Back then, it was more epically called the Great Global Rift.
The biggest underwater volcano
Oceanographers blame ocean acidification on what?
Industrial waste, mostly from power generation
Human-caused carbon dioxide
Scientists fear that humans are essentially poisoning the ocean.
Nuclear waste dumped into the sea in the early 1980's
Which oceanographer made important observations regarding ocean circulation?
He showed that the Coriolis force was a major factor in how ocean waters circulated.