Aura of Nature: OceanographyErakina




Blue ocean.
Waves and marine organisms of ocean.

When you say oceanography it clearly defines that it deals with the scientific study of the ocean. It includes study of ocean ecosystems, ocean currents, waves, marine organisms, plate tectonics, seafloor geology and the ocean`s physical properties. According to study and some informative documentation it is said that 70% of the surface of the earth is covered by oceans. 

It consists of 5 major branches: 

  1. Biological Oceanography
  2. Chemical Oceanography
  3. Geological Oceanography
  4. Physical Oceanography
  5. Paleoceanography 


Ancient map of ocean.
Early navigators revealed the way through oceans.

Though oceanography comes under the newest field of science, its root extended back several tens of thousands of years when people began to venture from their coastlines in rafts. These seafaring explorers, navigators and oceanographers gave their utmost attention and researched about oceans in many ways. Eventually these oceanographers observed waves, storms, tides and currents that carried their rafts in certain directions at various situations. Nevertheless, the experience and understanding of these experts were passed down over thousands of years from generation to generation in myths and legends.

However, it wasn’t until about 2850 years ago (850 BC) that early naturalists and philosophers started trying to make sense out of the enormous bodies of water they saw from land. People all around the world had a strong belief that the world is flat and not round. Maybe religiously or maybe scientifically. Finally it was the great Italian explorer Christopher Columbus who discovered that the world is not flat, but round a sphere whose surface is nearly ¾ covered by ocean in the late 1400s and 1500s.

Two sailors sailing in the ocean.
Challenger Period from 1800s.

Modern Oceanography concept began as a field of science a little less than 130 years back, in the late 19th century. It was the Americans, Britishers and Europeans who launched a few expeditions to explore ocean currents, ocean life and the seafloor off their coastlines. They started with ‘CHALLENGER EXPEDITION’ from 1872 to 1876 as the first expedition to explore the world’s ocean and seafloor. But this modern oceanography really took off less than 60 years ago. The advanced study led the world to the path of scientific belief.


Alt: Remained exploration of oceanography.
Scientific study of oceans.
  • The scientists say that approximately 95% of the oceans are yet unexplored. In Fact they know more about moons and mars than they do about the ocean.
  • It was Sir Benjamin Franklin, the first person to study the Gulf Stream scientifically.
  • Earthquakes are natural disasters that take place all over the world but most of them are under the water of the oceans.
  • Mid-Ocean Ridge is the longest mountain range in the whole world and it is located under the ocean.
  • The first ever textbook that was written by Matthew Fontaine Maury in 1855 about oceanography was called the PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THE SEA.
  • Gold suspensions are a huge outcome of oceans. Mining them out from the seawater has not been possible as of yet.
  • Documentation research says that ocean’s coral reefs are ranked second in terms of biodiversity of species. World’s rainforest ranks first!
  • Global warming is the major cause behind the melting of Antarctica resulting in rising sea level.


Alt: 200 million years old ocean.
Schematic Ocean Conveyor Belt.

Oceanographers had a scientific belief that the ocean floors are only about 200 million years old while the continents are about 2-3 million years old. The effects of wind stress on the surface of the ocean has gone down through the water column by eddy viscosity and the energy is transferred to the water column. Water masses of different densities are produced due to different climates. Sea ice generation creates very dense water masses in the polar region. The global circulation that has set up due to differing densities of water which is drawn schematically as an ‘OCEAN CONVEYOR BELT’ redistributes large amounts of heat around the Earth.


Content Writer (Erakina by RTMN)


Tags: climate, Nature

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