Oceanography is the study of oceans and seas on a Gaian Type planet. It includes study of the various zones of the ocean depths and surface, if the interaction of the ocean with the atmosphere, currents, tides, winds and temperature patterns, and of the biology and ecology of any marine life forms (see also Marine Biology), and of the geology of the thin crust that lies at the ocean floor, as well study of the coastal and island regions, legal and environmental regulations, biospherics, appropriate use of ocean resources, and some aspects of planetology and terraforming.

  • Coral Reef - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Aquatic Terragen community of organisms, wave-resistant biological structure resulting from cementation processes and the skeletal construction of hermatypic corals, calcareous algae, and other calcium carbonate-secreting organisms. Forms a rich habitat for many types of marine organisms. Coral reefs are popular in many large Terragen habitats with a strong aquatic component and tropical or semi-tropical climate. Some coral reefs have been provolved to sapience.
  • Marine Biology - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Branch of biology that deals with marine life (whether terragen or xenobiont), an important part of most biospheres. Areas of study include the ecology, physiology, life cycle, distribution, and migration of marine organisms, such as marine mammals, fish, invertebrates, algae, and plankton; classification of marine life; tagging, and tracking ocean organisms, microoceans and other orbital biomes; sea-farming; oceanography; introduction of aquatic life to to artificial biospheres and newly terraformed worlds, megascale ocean ecology, designing marine ecosystems, and non-terragen marine organisms on other Gaian Type worlds.
  • Ocean - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Narrowly defined, a large body of saline water on a Gaian Type planet. More generally, extensive bodies of water such as those found beneath the ice of moons or dwarf planets, or liquid layers in the atmospheres of large gas or ice giants, or extensive bodies of other liquid such as the methane-ethane mix on the worlds inhabited by the Muuh or the ammonia-water mix known to the Soft Ones.
  • Oceanus Ultimata  - Text by Todd Drashner, with some comments by M. Alan Kazlev and Anders Sandberg
    Star in Carina Outer Volumes surrounded by an apparently artificial water ocean-ring.
  • Pelagic - Text by M. Alan Kazlev; amended by Stephen Inniss
    Of, pertaining to, or living in the open ocean, on a planet, a moon or a sufficiently large large habitat, either at the surface or at intermediate depths. Some reserve the term specifically to open bodies of water a Gaian Type planet, but the broader usage is much more common.
  • Phytoplankton  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Autotrophic planktonic organisms that are the primary producers within their ecology, usually via photosynthesis. Most often they are of microscopic size.
  • Plankton  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Stephen Inniss
    Organisms that live in in the water column or in a suitable atmosphere and drift or float in that environment, being incapable of swimming against the current or wind. Most garden worlds have planktonic organisms. Where larger or more actively moving organisms are present they depend on plankton for food. Analogues to biological plankton are found in some nanecologies and mechosystems.
  • Pyrohydrothalassic  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Hot Water Worlds.
  • Tide  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    The alternate rise and fall of the surface of an open body of water or other fluid on a rotating hab, moon, or planet. Measurable tides arise from the periodic gravitational tug from some body that is sufficiently large and close to produce a significant tidal force if the period of that influence is close to the natural frequency (seiche period) of the lake, sea or ocean in question.
  • Zooplankton - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Animals that float passively in the water as part of the plankton. Zooplankton feed on other plankton (phytoplankton, bacterioplankton or other zooplankton) and are in turn food for larger aquatic organisms. An important part of the aquatic ecology of any terragen and terragen-type ecosystem.
Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev

Initially published on 13 December 2001.