Rutgers University Problem

How does your watershed impact the ocean?

Investigation Explanation Journal COOL New Terms Index Unit Plan Back to COOL Classroom

Hudson River Plume

COOL Terms

algae any of numerous groups of chlorophyll-containing, aquatic organisms ranging from microscopic single-celled forms to multicellular forms 100 ft. (30 m) or more long, distinguished from plants by the absence of true roots, stems, and leaves
algal bloom large concentration of algae in a specific area because of the rapid growth of algae
buffer plants natural plants that border a river to block excess fertilizer from seeping into the stream
bay water somewhat salty water; brackish water
characteristics specific traits or features
common basin the area in a watershed which contains the water which has run-off from the surrounding land and rivers
dead zone areas of extremely low oxygen that are formed when decomposers use up
large amounts of the available oxygen to break down dead plant material and algae
density a measure of how much mass is in how much space or the mass of an object divided by its volume
dissolve to break apart into small pieces, usually in water
downstream in the direction of the current of the stream
elevation height above sea level
eutrophication a situation where an area receives excess nutrients resulting in excessive plant growth
factor one of the elements contributing to a particular result
flow to move along
freshwater plume an area of freshwater that stays together due to the difference in temperature and salinity of the water it flows into – plumes usually contains dissolved materials along with suspended particles
plume an area containing the same type of particles which are closer together and in larger concentration near the origin then spread out in a teardrop pattern
pollution the introduction of harmful substances or products into the environment
marine microbiologist scientist that studies ocean organisms that are so small a microscope is needed to see them
natural features characteristics that are formed naturally such as rivers, ledges, cliffs, beaches, etc.
nonpoint source pollution Pollution that comes from more than one source unlike point source pollution that comes from a single location, like a factory. Sources of nonpoint source pollution include: nutrients and waste from agricultural areas and particles blown out to sea by the wind
nitrogen an element that is present in fertilizer and in combined form in animal and vegetable tissues, especially in proteins
nutrients a source of nourishment
oxygen depletion significant amounts of oxygen are removed from the water so that there is not enough oxygen left to support life
phosphorus an element that is an important part of plant and animal life; found in bones and nerves
respiration absorbing oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide
river water freshwater with some sediments
salinity a measure of the amount of dissolved salts in ocean water
satellite image a picture which is created by using information from a satellite
sediment loose materials, such as rock fragments, mineral grains, and the remains of once-living plants and animals that have been moved by wind, water, ice or gravity
substance matter with a fixed composition
temperature measure of the average kinetic energy of the individual particles of a substance
track determine the location
watershed boundaries the edges or border of a watershed, usually the highest point
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