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Oceanography Terms

CrestThe top of a wave
TroughThe valley between two waves
PlanktonAnimals that depend on currents and tides for movement.
BreakerA wave where the crest rolls over the trough; good for surfing
Ripple WaveThe smallest type of wave, generally only a few inches high
TsunamiThe largest wave type, caused by underwater earthquakes
CurrentMovements of water in the ocean, caused by density and temperature changes
TidesThe changes in water level caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and sun.
VisibilityThe distance you can see down into the water
TidepoolsThe pools of water left on the beach when the tide goes out
ZooplanktonAnimal plankton
PhytoplanktonPlant plankton
NektonAnimals that can move on their own power
BenthosAnimals or plants that live at the bottom of the ocean
ForeshoreThe area of the beach in front of the dunes
BackshoreThe area of the beach behind the dunes
SalinityThe level of salt in the water of the ocean


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