# The Oceans: Monterey Bay, Metric Units and Charts

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1 The Oceans: Monterey Bay, Metric Units and Charts Name Date TA & Section Conversion Table 1 fathom = 6 feet 100 fathoms = 1 cable length 10 cables length = 1 nautical mile 1 nautical mile = statute miles (length of a minute of longitude at equator) 3 nautical miles = 1 league 1 knot = 1 nautical mile per hour = statute miles per hour 10 chains = 1 furlong = meters 60 nautical miles = 1 degree of a great circle of earth (latitude) 1 statute mile = 5280 feet 1 nautical mile = feet The Metric System of weights and measurements is used worldwide. In most parts of the world, it is the only system. In the United States, it is used for all scientific work, and occasionally for consumer products as well. The system is based on the following units: Unit of length: the meter (m) Unit of mass or weights: the gram (g) Unit of volume: the liter (L) Unit of temperature: the Celsius degree ( o C) Metric units are also commonly referred to as SI units, for Système Internationale (or International System, in French). Note: Statute miles is what we know as miles and is a measurement of distance over land. Nautical miles is a measurement over water. Origin of Nautical Terms If you saw the movie Master and Commander, you might remember some of these methods. Fathom - Sailors use to throw a line into the water, wait until it hit the bottom, pull it back up, while measuring the length of the line from finger tip to finger tip. The arm span of an average sailor was 6 feet and was called a fathom. Knot - Lines use to be thrown over the sides of ships to determine speed. Each line was divided into 47 ft. 3 in. sections and were called knots. The line was allowed to run over the ship's side while a 28-second glass was emptying itself. The length of the knot was derived from the proportion that one hour (3600 sec) is to 28 seconds as one mile ( ft.) is to the length of one knot (47 ft. 3 in.). Though it is not part of the metric system, the nautical mile (nm) remains a commonly used unit of length for ocean-going crafts. It represents 1/60 of a degree latitude (also known as 1 minute of latitude). We often use the conversion that 1 knot is 1 nm/hour. 1

2 PART 1. Unit Conversions. In this class, we will frequently need to convert from one set of units to another. You might also see different units for the same thing (for example, knots versus miles per hour). This first assignment will give you some practice with conversions. Questions: 1) How many feet are in a nautical mile? How many feet are in a meter? 2) How many feet are in a league? How many nautical miles in a league? 3) What is your height in feet and meters (you can use the meter sticks available in the classroom)? 4) Convert the deepest point in the ocean, the Marianas Trench at a depth of 35,802 feet, to fathoms, leagues, and meters. 5) The largest and fastest marine fish is the bluefin tuna weighing 1,500 pounds and swims up to 55 miles per hour. How fast is this in knots? 6) A typical research vessel travels at a top speed of 12 knots, while a fast ship, such as a ferry, often travels at speeds up to 30 knots. What are those speeds in miles per hour? How does this compare to a Bluefin tuna? 7) Convert 20,000 leagues to miles. Is it possible for such depths to occur in the ocean? 2

4 To be turned in before you leave section: List who was in your group. 1) What are the units on the large chart what is the scale on the large chart 2) Turn in at least one example (for your group) of the zoomed in chart with your isobathymetric lines (include all names on the sheet, please) 3) Turn in at least one example of your depth profile (include all names on the sheet, please) 4) The deepest point on the zoomed in chart is. That depth is meters. 5) Is the change steep or gradual? 6) How deep is Monterey Canyon? 4

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6 PART 3: Presentation of data Time series and contour maps (work independently not due until the next section) The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) operates the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) which maintains a network of moored buoys along our coast and in the open ocean. Several instruments are mounted on each buoy to collect data for various oceanographic and atmospheric studies and improve weather forecasts. An example of a buoy is shown below. To answer question 1, you will need to go to the NDBC website at: 1) Which NDBC buoy is located closest to Santa Cruz (make sure you are identifying the NDBC buoys, which are the blue squares)? 6

7 2) One way to represent data collected at such buoys is called a time series, in which a data set, such as temperature or salinity, is plotted versus time. A time series of wind speed at one buoy is shown above. In m/s, what was the maximum and minimum wind speed recorded at this buoy during the 5 days of the record? And when did they occur in local (Pacific) time? (max) (min) (Note that GMT stands for Greenwich Mean Time, and represents the time in Greenwich, England which is 7 hours ahead of us in Santa Cruz, so you ll have to convert from GMT to local time). Roughly, what was the average wind speed recorded at the buoy? 7

8 Sometimes, data is collected along 2 spatial dimensions, and is presented in the form of a contour map. You have already used one example of such a map, of bathymetry, in Activity 2. But maps are also useful in presenting other forms of data. Here is an example of the average sea surface temperature (in o C) over the ocean for the month of November. Note that if you ve printed these out in grayscale (rather than in color) dark shades correspond to both cold and warm temperatures. To get precise readings of temperature, use the contour intervals and notice that grayscale shades vary every 1 degree, which provides additional information. NOTE: you can see the color version of the image at: 3) Approximately, what are the warmest and coldest temperatures shown and at what latitudes (warm) (cold) do they occur? At what longitudes do the warmest waters occur? 4) Approximately locate Santa Cruz on the map. Roughly what is the average temperature just off our coast here in September? At the same latitude as Santa Cruz, what is the temperature on the east coast of the US? What is the temperature off Baja, California? 5) Why do you think the sea surface temperature contours roughly follow lines of latitude? 8

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