Final Exam Reflective Questions



The style of these questions closely follows that of the reflective questions within each of the modules and in the mid-term exam, with the addition of questions that require an explanation of the differences and/or similarities between specific terms used to define and describe aspects of feature, phenomena, or processes discussed and described within course topics.

Your answers should be clear and succinct, amounting to perhaps 3-4 sentences totaling 30 to 50 words; longer essays are strongly discouraged. It is recommended that you prepare your answers in a separate document from which you copy them into Canvas.

Please note that your answers to all questions must reflect your own work in your own choice of words. No collaboration is permitted in the submission of this assignment.

Question 1 2 pts

Explain the differences and/or similarities between ice/glacial melting and thermal expansion as factors influencing sea level rise.

A strong answer will describe the two terms and explain their relationship within the context of factors that affect sea level, explaining differences in the scale of sea level change associated with each factor and the timing for such change to occur.

Question 2 2 pts

Which areas of the ocean are most subject to industrial contamination and why?

A strong answer will describe specific locations around the world where industrial contamination is most severe, referencing the map discussed in the eText and in the class materials. It will also explain the specific reasons why such regions are prone to contamination versus areas of the ocean that are more pristine.

Question 3 2 pts

Why is seasonal primary productivity in polar regions higher in intensity but shorter in duration than productivity at mid-latitudes.

A strong answer will describe how the combinations of light availability and nutrient supply lead to variations in the intensity of phytoplankton productivity at different latitudes.

Question 4 2 pts

What mineral resources are identified as primary targets for deep-sea mining and what factors have constrained their utilization?

A strong answer will explain the aims of deep-sea mining in terms of materials and locations of occurrence and briefly describe the technological challenges and political and environmental considerations that need to be addressed prior to such ventures.

Question 5 2 pts

Why do the distributions of benthic organisms that live In both rocky and sandy shore habitats show clear zonation in their distributions within these environments.

A strong answer will describe the factors that govern the lifestyles of benthic organisms in rocky and sandy shore settings and the critical controls on their individual habitats exerted by water levels, explaining how these controls result in their zonation.

question 6 2 pts

Bonus Question (2 pt)

What characteristic of the Moon’s orbital cycle is described as its declination and how does this variation affect tides?

A strong answer will explain the term declimnation with reference to the Moon’s orbital cycle and how its monthly variation influences the gravitational force exerted by the Moon on the oceans, affecting tides accordingly.

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