Oceanography, also called oceanology or marine science, is the branch of Earth Sciences that studies the Earth’s oceans and seas. It covers a wide range of topics, including marine organisms and ecosystem dynamics; ocean currents, waves, and geophysical fluid dynamics; plate tectonics and the geology of the sea floor; and fluxes of various chemical substances and physical properties within the ocean and across its boundaries. Put simply, it is a branch of science dealing with physical and biological aspects of the oceans.
Branches of Oceanography
There are generally five branches of oceanography:
- Biological oceanography or marine biology, the study of the plants and animals (biota) of the oceans and their ecological interaction.
- Chemical oceanography, the study of the chemistry of the ocean.
- Geological oceanography, the study of the geology of the ocean floor including plate tectonics.
- Meteorologic oceanography, the study of the interactions of the atmosphere and the ocean in the hydrosphere.
- Physical oceanography, the study of the physical attributes of the ocean (such as its temperature-salinity structure, waves and currents).