Skip to main content
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary National Marine Sanctuaries Home Page National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Home Page
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Teachers' Curriculum
"The Land-Sea Connection"

Cover | Table of Contents | Introduction | Background | Investigation 1 | Investigation 2
Glossary | Teacher Resources | Curriculum Evaluation | Credits

Glossary

Abyssal: referring to the deep sea or abyss

Bank: an undersea elevation rising from the continental shelf

Bathymetry: the measurement of depths of water in oceans, seas, and lakes

Bay: a small body of water set off from the main body; an inlet of the sea usually smaller than a gulf

Benthic: near or on the bottom

Canyon: a deep narrow valley with steep sides and often with a stream flowing through it

Cape: a point or extension of land jutting out into water as a peninsula or point

Continental Shelf: an old, wave-cut terrace gently sloping seaward

Continental Slope: beyond the shelf, the slope descends more steeply into the ocean shelf

Creek: a stream of water smaller than a river, often a tributary to a river

Davidson Current: warm ocean current flowing northward between the shoreline and the California Current along the west coast of the U.S. during winter months

Detritus: particles of debris from decaying plants and animals

Ecology: scientific discipline involving interrelationships among animals, plants and their environment

Estuary: where river currents meet and are influenced by oceanic tides

Fan: (also called an alluvial fan) deposits from a stream that form a gently sloping fan-shaped sediments, often seen at the base of a hill or gorge

Geography: the science or the study of earth and its life; a description of land, sea, air and the distribution of plant and animal life including people and cities

Geology: the science or the study of the earth and its history as recorded in rocks

Gulf: a part of the ocean or sea extending into the land

Hydrology: the science or the study of bodies of water such as the measurement of flow in streams

Island: land surrounded on all sides by water and smaller than a continent

Latitude: the angular distance north or south of the equator, measured in degrees along a meridian, a on a map or globe

Longitude: the angular distance on the earth, as on a globe or map, east or west of the prime meridian at Greenwich, England, to the point on the earth's surface for which the longitude is being ascertained, expressed in degrees, or in hours, minutes or second

Meander: a turn or winding area of a stream

Mount: a high hill

Midden: a refuse heap, a dump, especially referring to Indian kitchen middens

Oceanography: study of the physics, chemistry, biology and geology of the worlds oceans

Peak: the top of a hill or mountain ending in a point

Pelagic: of the open oceans

Plankton: plants and animals that swim weakly, or not at all, and drift with ocean currents

Point: a projecting area of land or a sharp prominence

Predator: a animal that kills and eats other animals

Range: a series of mountains

Ridge: (on land) a range of hills or mountains (on the ocean floor) an elongated elevation on the ocean bottom

River: a natural stream of water usually large and long

Sanctuary: a safe place of refuge and protection

Sea Level: the level of the surface of the sea; a mid-point between the high and low tide

Seamount: a submarine mountain rising above the deep sea floor

Stakeholder: a citizen with a vested interest in a certain resource

Submarine Canyon: a long, narrow, steep-walled undersea valley

Substrate: any surface on which a plant or animal lives or on which a material sticks

Taxonomy: scientific classification of animals and plants

Transect: a monitoring research technique that marks a transverse along which measurements can be taken

Topography: a graphical representation of the physical features of a place or region on a map

Valley: a long, low area of land usually between hills or mountains drained by a river

Watershed: a region or area connected by a body of water, rivers and drainage


< Previous Page

Next Page>

URL: http://montereybay.noaa.gov/educate/teachercurriculum/glossary.html    Reviewed: March 05, 2014
Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service

Privacy Statement | Site Disclaimer | User Survey
National Marine Sanctuaries | National Ocean Service | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | USA.gov