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Glossary

Air density: The moisture in the air

Breakwater: A manmade structure that goes out from the shore into the water.

Crest: A wave's highest point.

Drift bottle: A bottle that is launched into the ocean in order to study currents. The finder returns the drift bottle and provides information on the date and location of its discovery.

Ebb: An outgoing tide.

Estuary: This body of water connects the ocean to one or more rivers and streams. At the river's wide mouth, fresh water empties into the salty ocean.

Fetch: A large distance of open water.

Fossil fuels: Fuels, such as coal and oil, created from the remains of million-year-old plants and animals.

Global warming: An increase in the temperature that happens when there is a large amount of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

Greenhouse effect: Natural process of the sun's energy entering the earth's atmosphere. A portion is returned back to space while another portion is reflected back to earth, so heat is trapped.

Greenhouse gases: Earth's atmospheric gases including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and water vapour, which undergo the greenhouse effect.

High tide: When the water level is highest due to the moon's pull.

Hurricane: A towering column of fast moving air that is formed when a cold Arctic air mass moves south and meets a warm Tropical air mass moving north.

Lake: A large, still body of water without an outlet.

Mouth: The lower end of a river.

Neap tide: The lowest tides. They happen when the sun and moon are at right angles of one another.

Nor'easter: A storm that forms when two dissimilar air masses meet.

Offshore wind: Wind that blows away from the coast.

River: A large, moving stream that starts at a high point and ends at a mouth.

Rogue wave: A large, spontaneous wave that occurs far from the shoreline.

Spring tide: The highest tides. They occur when the moon and sun are lined up with one another and with the earth.

Surface drifter: A device used to measure the direction of the currents. A satellite tracks the locations of the surface drifter.

Swell: A smooth, more stable wave.

Tide: The rise and fall of the ocean water.

Tornado at sea: When a column of water is dragged upwards from the sea's surface and combines with condensed water in moist air.

Trough: The lowest point of a wave.

Tsunami: A big wave with destructive power, moving at a fast speed and a large height.

Tube: The tunnel formed by a breaking wave.

Water cycle: The natural recycling of water. The ocean evaporates into the air and comes back down to the earth as rain and snow.

Waterway: A connector between bodies of water.