A reference work that embraces the major fields of oceanographic research: the physical nature of the oceans and the evolution and distribution of marine life. This book offers information on a wide range of topics, from the formation of oceanic ridges to the astonishing diversity and complex interactions of marine communities.
This major new volume is an indispensable resource, and an endlessly fascination work of reference. Clearly structured in two parts, dealing with the physical nature of oceans and the evolution and distribution of marine life, it covers all the major fields of oceanographic research. Its accessible treatment offers a wealth of up-to-date information on topics ranging from oceanic ridge formation and hydrothermal vents, to the rhythm and patterns of tides, currents, and weather systems, to the astonishing diversity and complex interactions of marine communities. The impact of humankind on the oceans is also discussed: with increasing demand for resources, the world's oceans are set to become the 'final frontier' for intensive scientific research. However, the seas are not inexhaustible, nor are they infinitely resilient; disasters such as Exxon Valdez have brought home the enormous costs of marine pollution. The "Encyclopedia of the Oceans" considers the options and looks at the sustainable use of resources and conservation of marine life. The stunning photographs - many of them illustrating exciting new underwater research projects, brilliant explanatory artworks and maps, together with the clear, authoritative text combine to make this an invaluable work of reference on a unique, vital, but little understood component of our planet.