The Ultimate Oceanography Quiz
by Staff
Most of our planet is covered by oceans, parts of which we have yet to explore. How much do you know about the oceans and oceanography, the study of the great waters?

Modern oceanography is typically attributed to the Challenger Expedition, which began when?

  • 1872
  • 1888
  • 1891

How long did the Challenger Expedition last?

  • 18 months
  • two years
  • four years

What topic does physical oceanography research?

  • Properties of seawater
  • The shallow areas where land meets water
  • The traits of underwater soils

In what year was the Gulf Stream discovered?

  • 1221
  • 1513
  • 1698

What is the approximate temperature of the deep ocean?

  • 39 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 42 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 45 degrees Fahrenheit

About how many new plant and animal species did researchers find during the Challenger Expedition?

  • 1,500
  • 4,700
  • 6,200

What percentage of the world's volcantic activity occurs within the oceans?

  • 90%
  • 70%
  • 50%

Who named the Gulf Stream?

  • Columbus
  • Juan Ponce de Leon
  • Benjamin Franklin

Which oceanographer's last film documented the effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska?

  • Sylvia Earle
  • Jacques Cousteau
  • Robert Ballard

If you study chemical elements in seawater, you're practicing which branch of oceanography?

  • Biological oceanography
  • Physical oceanography
  • Chemical oceanography

How did the first researchers determine ocean depths?

  • They refracted light into the depths.
  • Rope and lead weights
  • They attached rope to a large fish and released it.

In feet, what's the greatest difference between high and low tides anywhere on Earth?

  • eight feet
  • 31 feet
  • 53 feet

How many tons of water flow in and out of the Bay of Fundy during one tide cycle?

  • 40 billion tons
  • 160 billion tons
  • 220 billion tons

Which explorer-oceanographer finally explained the reason for "dead water?"

  • Matthew Maury
  • Fridtjof Nansen
  • Vagh Ekman

What is NOT a primary contributing factor to ocean currents?

  • Tides
  • Wind
  • Salinity

Which oceanographic institution came first?

  • Virginia Institute of Marine Science
  • International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography

What is El Nino?

  • A surge of cold water that dips into the Atlantic Ocean about every four years.
  • An occasional shift of warm water from the western to eastern Pacific Ocean.
  • Increasingly warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico that dramatically shift weather patterns.

A company in which country developed Deepsea Challenger, which was built to dive to the deepest spot on Earth?

  • Australia
  • Japan
  • United States

Rising ocean temperatures account for what percentage of energy accumulation from global warming?

  • 50%
  • 70%
  • 90%

Which country has the longest ocean coastline?

  • United States
  • Russia
  • Canada

How many sonar measurements did the German Meteor expedition use to document the Mid-Atlantic ridge?

  • 20,000
  • 70,000
  • 1 million

Mary Sears was a Navy commander and oceanographer who spent many years studying which creatures?

  • sardines
  • plankton
  • tuna

What was the name of one of the first oceanographical texts ever published?

  • "Physical Geography of the Sea"
  • "The Sea"
  • "The Underwater World"

In what year did Matthew Maury publish his groundbreaking text, "Physical Geography of the Sea?"

  • 1832
  • 1855
  • 1898

What is the record for the tallest iceberg?

  • 380 feet
  • 550 feet
  • 890 feet

What tools do oceanographers often use to predict El Nino-related phenomena?

  • Radar
  • Nuclear submarines
  • A collection of buoys

Which explorer-oceanographer earned the nickname "The Sturgeon General?'

  • Robert Ballard
  • Sylvia Earle
  • James Cook

What ocean feature did Bruce Heezen and Maurice Ewing discover in 1953?

  • The Mid-Ocean Ridge
  • The biggest underwater volcano
  • Mariana Trench

Oceanographers blame ocean acidification on what?

  • Industrial waste, mostly from power generation
  • Human-caused carbon dioxide
  • Nuclear waste dumped into the sea in the early 1980's

Which oceanographer made important observations regarding ocean circulation?

  • Alfred Wegner
  • Henry Stommel
  • Mary Sears