v What is plate tectonics? How many plates are there? How does the concept of plate tectonics vary from the concept called the continental drift? What evidence (there are about four) did A. Wegener used to pursue the concept of continental drift? What is Pangaea? Why the idea of continental drift didnít fly?
v Who discovered the sea-floor spreading and the convection currents in the mantle? How do these concepts relate to plate tectonics? What is magnetic anomaly?
v Know which of the three plate boundaries (convergent, divergent, transform) are the major features (e.g. occurrence of volcanoes, earthquakes, trenches, mountain ranges, submarine volcanic ridges, black smokers, etc.) associated with; and geographic locations where you are likely to find such features and boundaries. Also know how big are these features (e.g. how deep are trenches compared to the Grand Canyon).
v What is a rift valley? Along what plate boundaries are you likely to find a rift valley (e.g. East African Rift Valley)?
v Where (i.e. along what type of plate boundaries) do the new ocean floors form and where do the old ocean floors destroyed?
v What is the Ring of Fire? Why it this important for us to know (i.e. what happens there)?
v Why do ocean floors get older and deeper away from mid-ocean ridges? Know that the Earth itself is about 4.6 billion years old. Why isnít there any ocean floor older than 200 million years old?
v What is the difference between a passive margin and an active margin type ocean?
v What is an example of a passive margin and an active margin type ocean?
v Know characteristics of each physiographic province (continental shelf, continental slope, continental rise, abyssal plain, mid-oceanic ridges) of a passive margin type ocean in terms of their typical width, depth, slope, type of sediments found, geologic processes active (e.g. waves, tides, turbidity currents, volcanic activities, coral reef formation, etc.).
v What is continenfile:///C:/Users/mkhalequ.DOMAIN1/AppData/Roaming/Microsoft/Internet%20Explorer/Quick%20Launch/Launch%20Internet%20Explorer%20Browser.lnktal margin (i.e. what is it consist of)? Which part of the continental margin is covered and uncovered by fluctuating sea levels during warm period and cold period (Ice Age)?
v What are submarine canyons? How were they originated? How to they differ from the oceanic trenches in terms of their location, size, and the processes that form them?
v What is turbidity currents? Why are they important? What is turbidite (Boumaís sequence)? What is the major characteristic of turbidite sediments in terms of grain size variations? Where in the ocean are you likely to find submarine fans (e.g. Bengal submarine fan)? How do they form?
v What are gyout and seamounts? Where (i.e. in which physiographic province and geographic location) are you likely to find seamounts and ring corals? How do they (ring corals) form?
v What are black smokers? Where do you find them? Why do they look black? What type of organisms are you likely to find near black smokers?
v Know the names, distribution, and extent (i.e. in which latitudes you find more ocean as compared to land) of world oceans.
v What is salinity and what units are used to measure salinity? On average, how many grams of dissolved salts can be found in one kilogram (1000 grams) of seawater? What are most common ions (dissolved chemicals) found in ocean water?
v What factors control density of ocean water? How do salinity, temperature, ionic concentration, and density vary from place to place and with depth? What factor controls vertical or deep ocean circulation in ocean?
v What is a depth profile of oceans? How do the three zones (surface, intermediate, deep) differ from each other in terms of temperature, salinity, and density changes within each zone? In which zone does the sudden change in temperature (thermocline), salinity (halocline), and density (pycnocline) occur? Why do the changes occur in this zone?
Know different types of organisms (plankton, nekton, benthos, etc.) and their inter-relationships (primary producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers, etc.) in terms of food pyramid or trophic levels. Know the energy and nutrient sources for ocean organisms.
v What is the driving force behind Earthís atmosphere and surface ocean circulation?
v What causes the ocean surface water to move the way it does, i.e. what are the forces behind surface ocean circulation patterns that we observe (hints: wind friction with ocean water initiate the motion, but water movement is also affected by the rotation or spinning of the Earth)?
v Know that the major wind circulation in the US is dominated by prevailing westerlies and the NE trade wind. How does this factor affect the surface ocean circulation (i.e. gyres) that we see in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans off the east and west coasts of America?
v What is subtropical gyre? What is their direction of movement (i.e. clockwise, counter-clockwise, straight line, or upward) in the Northern and Southern hemispheres?
v What are the Gulf Stream and California Currents? Why are these phenomena important to us (think in terms of climate, weather, heat distribution, navigation, temperature along coastal zones, etc.)?
v What causes the tide?
v Know various features of wind-generated deep water and shallow water waves (i.e. wave crest, trough, wave height, wave length, wave period, wave velocity, wave frequency, etc.).
v What is the difference between a deep water wave and a shallow water wave in terms of their wave base, wave height, wave velocity, orbital motion of water particles under each type of waves?
v What is wave refraction? How does it affect erosion and deposition of sediments along a shoreline?
v What is longshore current or drift? Why is it important (i.e. what role does it play in transporting and depositing sediments).