Descriptive Physical Oceanography. An Introduction by George L. Pickard and William J. Emery (Auth.)

By George L. Pickard and William J. Emery (Auth.)

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To judge the colour one may use the "Forel Scale" provided by a set of glass tubes of different shades of blue-coloured water. 11 General In the previous chapter attention was drawn to temperature and salinity as ocean water characteristics. These quantities vary from place to place in the ocean, and from their distribution we can learn a good deal about the average circulation of the waters. In this chapter, some of the typical distributions will be described so that the reader may gain some feeling for them and be able to recognize normal and abnormal distributions.

As the production and utilization of oxygen in the sea are essentially biochemical matters they will not be pursued further here but it must be remembered that whenever oxygen is considered as a water property it must be used with caution since it is nonconservative. g. nitrate, phosphate and silicate ions, dissolved gases other than oxygen, and plankton which are the small organisms which drift with the water (as distinct from the nekton, the free swimming fishes and mammals, which move about of their own volition).

Because the molecules scatter the short-wave (blue) light much more than the long-wave (red) light the colour seen is selectively blue. In addition, because the red and yellow components of sunlight are rapidly absorbed in the upper few metres, the only light remaining to be scattered from the bulk of the water is the blue light. If one looks at the sea from above the surface, in addition to the blue light scattered from the body of the water one sees some sky light reflected from the surface and the two components add together.

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