Marine Zone: are divisions of the ocean. Oceanographers divide the ocean into two basic parts; the pelagic or open ocean, and the benthic or sea floor. The pelagic is divided into five broad zones according to how far down sunlight penetrates:
- the epipelagic, euphotic, or sunlit zone: the top layer of the ocean where enough sunlight penetrates for plants to carry on photosynthesis.
- the mesopelagic, dysphotic, or twilight zone: a dim zone where some light penetrates, but not enough for plants to grow.
- the bathypelagic, aphotic, or midnight zone: the deep ocean layer where no light penetrates.
- the abyssal zone: the pitch-black bottom layer of the ocean; the water here is almost freezing and its pressure is immense.
- the hadal zone: the waters found in the ocean's deepest trenches.
Hawaiian Translation: Kai
Note: The word kai refers to the ocean and all its parts. Unlike the science point of view where the divisions of the ocean are due to the penetration of light, the Hawaiians division of the ocean depended on the life forms in the depths of the ocean.
As an example:
- Kai Hele Ku- water in which one could stand
- Kai O Kilo He‘e- swimming deep or for spearing squid
- Kai He‘e Nalu- surfing region
- Kai Opelu- sea of the opelu
- Kai I Aku- sea for trolling aku
- Kai Kohola-deep sea where the whales or monsters of the sea dwell
- Moana- the deep ocean
- Kahiki Moe- the utmost bounds of the ocean
Source: Hawaiian Antiquities by David Malo; pgs.25 &26.
Source: Museum of Science http://www.mos.org/oceans/life/index.html
The pelagic zone includes those waters further from the land, basically the open ocean. The pelagic zone is generally cold though it is hard to give a general temperature range since, just like ponds and lakes, there is thermal stratification with a constant mixing of warm and cold ocean currents. The flora in the pelagic zone includes surface seaweeds. The fauna include many species of fish and some mammals, such as whales and dolphins. Many feed on the abundant plankton.
The benthic zone is the area below the pelagic zone, but does not include the very deepest parts of the ocean (see abyssal zone below). The bottom of the zone consists of sand, slit, and/or dead organisms. Here temperature decreases as depth increases toward the abyssal zone, since light cannot penetrate through the deeper water. Flora are represented primarily by seaweed while the fauna, since it is very nutrient-rich, include all sorts of bacteria, fungi, sponges, sea anemones, worms, sea stars, and fishes.
Returning to WebQuest? Close this window to continue