SC.912.E.7.2

Analyze the causes of the various kinds of surface and deep water motion within the oceans and their impacts on the transfer of energy between the poles and the equator.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 912
Body of Knowledge: Earth and Space Science
Idea: Level 3: Strategic Thinking & Complex Reasoning
Standard: Earth Systems and Patterns - The scientific theory of the evolution of Earth states that changes in our planet are driven by the flow of energy and the cycling of matter through dynamic interactions among the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, geosphere, and biosphere, and the resources used to sustain human civilization on Earth.
Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
2001310: Earth/Space Science (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2001320: Earth/Space Science Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002430: Integrated Science 2 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002530: Marine Science 2 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
2002540: Solar Energy Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
1802310: Naval Science 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 - 2023 (current), 2023 and beyond)
1802320: Naval Science 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 - 2023 (current), 2023 and beyond)
7920020: Access Earth/Space Science (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond)
2003500: Renewable Energy 1 Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 - 2023 (current), 2023 and beyond)
2001330: Meteorology Honors (Specifically in versions: 2016 - 2019, 2019 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
1804310: United States Coast Guard Leadership and Operations 2 (Specifically in versions: 2021 - 2022, 2022 - 2023 (current), 2023 and beyond)

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
SC.912.E.7.In.2: Recognize that there are circular movements of ocean water (surface and deep-water currents) which move cold water from the poles toward the tropics and vice versa.
SC.912.E.7.Su.2: Recognize that currents move the ocean water around Earth.
SC.912.E.7.Pa.2: Recognize waves in the ocean.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Lesson Plans

Sea Ice Analysis Algebra:

The changing climate is an important topic for both scientific analysis and worldly knowledge. This lesson uses data collected by the National Snow and Ice Data Center to create and use statistical analysis as a tool to evaluate the sea ice loss. Students will use technology to quickly generate graphs for each month looking for trends, patterns, or deviations over time.

Type: Lesson Plan

Challenge: Melting Ice and Its Effect on Life:

In this activity, students observe water movement patterns formed by melting ice cubes to make predictions about the movement of ocean water and the impacts on populations of aquatic organisms.

Type: Lesson Plan

Researching Remote Regions: Role of the Southern Ocean:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text on the carbon dioxide/oxygen exchange in the Southern Ocean. The extent to which massive Southern Ocean currents, other biotic and abiotic factors, and ocean color impacts global warming is currently not known. Scientists will use a modified plane set up as a laboratory to gather this data. The lesson is designed to support reading in the content area and includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

How El Niño and La Niña Affect the Weather:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. In this lesson, students will analyze a text that addresses the weather patterns of El Niño and La Niña and their effect on the varying ocean temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. The text describes the type of weather each produces over North America while explaining the differences between the two. This lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Causes of Surface Currents:

Students will plot the major ocean gyres on a map, using colors to represent the relative temperature of the surface waters. Students will then plot several pairs of locations at the similar latitudes and discover that the coastal climate is in part affected by the circulation of ocean gyres.

Type: Lesson Plan

Grape Suspension:

Students will design their own experiment to suspend a grape in water. Students will learn that temperature and salinity affect ocean water density.

Type: Lesson Plan

Density-Salinity Lab:

In this lesson students will explore the concept of the differences in density of water found at different locations on Earth. The students will work in groups of four to determine the density of previously collected river, estuary, sea and distilled water using scales and other measuring tools. They will have a worksheet with guiding questions and a table to record their data. The students will be able to explain how differences in density that occur in the ocean affect ocean currents and why there are differences in the density of water found at different locations on Earth.

Type: Lesson Plan

Ocean Motion- A lesson on what causes ocean currents and their effects on life on Earth:

The purpose of this lesson is to allow students to understand what drives ocean currents. Part of this process will include the developing of a testable hypothesis, designing a model, and formulating a conclusion based on observations. Students will further make a connection with how currents have influenced and can influence human behavior, both individually and collectively.

Type: Lesson Plan

Lesson 1: Introduction to Oceanography & Remote Sensing:

This lesson covers:

•How the ocean moves and why it is important to all life on Earth

•Different geologic features in the ocean and how they impact currents

•How the Earth and ocean are studied by satellites and remote sensing

•How to use a web based program to interpret real world satellite data

Type: Lesson Plan

Lesson 2: Currents and Temperature:

This lesson covers:

  • How wind influences ocean currents
  • How currents transport heat and water around the world
  • Florida specific currents and oceanography
  • How currents connect the world’s climate

Type: Lesson Plan

Perspectives Video: Experts

Oceanography & Math:

A discussion describing ocean currents studied by a physical oceanographer and how math is involved. 

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Hurricanes & Strong Deep Ocean Currents:

COAPS oceanographer Steve Morey describes how math is used to help research hurricanes and strong deep ocean currents that could effect deep water oil rigs.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Implications of the Spherical Earth:

To understand atmospheric and oceanic currents, one needs a well-rounded understanding of geometry and the shape of the Earth.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Mathematical Modeling of El Niño :

Hear how mathematics helped shape Dr. James O'Brien's groundbreaking research in ocean modeling of El Niño.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiasts

Hurricane Dennis & Failed Math Models:

What happens when math models go wrong in forecasting hurricanes?

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Mathematically Modeling Eddy Shedding :

COAPS oceanographer Dmitry Dukhovskoy describes the process used to mathematically model eddy shedding in the Gulf of Mexico.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: Waves:

When your classroom is the open ocean, which is the longest period? The one from the tsunami.

Related Resources:
KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: GPS Data Set[.XLSX]
KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: Path Visualization for Google Earth[.KML]

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Text Resources

What are El Niño and La Niña?:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article explains what El Niño and La Niña are in terms of meteorology. It also explains the weather effects of both and a brief history of their names.

Type: Text Resource

Flying Lab to Investigate Southern Ocean's Appetite for Carbon:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes how scientists led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) are set to launch a series of flights over the Southern Ocean in order to collect data on how the air and seas surrounding Antarctica exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide. It is hoped that this data will help us with future predictions about climate change, and maybe even lead to new insights on how the ocean works.

Type: Text Resource

Does the Rotation of the Earth Affect Toilets and Baseball Games?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article examines the Coriolis effect-how the Earth's rotation affects moving objects-and its relationship to baseball, weather...and toilets. The author is concerned with dispelling some myths about the influence of the Coriolis effect on everyday things.

Type: Text Resource

Video/Audio/Animation

Will an Ice Cube Melt Faster in Freshwater or Saltwater?:

With an often unexpected outcome from a simple experiment, students can discover the factors that cause and influence thermohaline circulation in our oceans. In two 45-minute class periods, students complete activities where they observe the melting of ice cubes in saltwater and freshwater, using basic materials: clear plastic cups, ice cubes, water, salt, food coloring, and thermometers. There are no prerequisites for this lesson but it is helpful if students are familiar with the concepts of density and buoyancy as well as the salinity of seawater. It is also helpful if students understand that dissolving salt in water will lower the freezing point of water. There are additional follow up investigations that help students appreciate and understand the importance of the ocean's influence on Earth's climate.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Video/Audio/Animation

Will an Ice Cube Melt Faster in Freshwater or Saltwater?:

With an often unexpected outcome from a simple experiment, students can discover the factors that cause and influence thermohaline circulation in our oceans. In two 45-minute class periods, students complete activities where they observe the melting of ice cubes in saltwater and freshwater, using basic materials: clear plastic cups, ice cubes, water, salt, food coloring, and thermometers. There are no prerequisites for this lesson but it is helpful if students are familiar with the concepts of density and buoyancy as well as the salinity of seawater. It is also helpful if students understand that dissolving salt in water will lower the freezing point of water. There are additional follow up investigations that help students appreciate and understand the importance of the ocean's influence on Earth's climate.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.