Essentials of Oceanography

Alan P. Trujillo / Harold V. Thurman  
Total pages
November 2013
Related Titles


“How do the oceans work?” Essentials of Oceanography takes an interdisciplinary approach to help students answer this question. The latest edition brings together the interrelated spheres that compose Earth's systems as they relate to the oceans: geological, chemical, physical, and biological. Trujillo and Thurman balance rigor and accessibility, combining in-depth discussions of oceanographic concepts with highly visual and interactive study aids to demystify the science for the non-science student. This unique combination has made Essentials of Oceanography the best-selling brief book—and one of the best-sellers overall—in oceanography.


  • Accessible language demystifies scientific terms by introducing each new term with its etymon (the true sense of a word) and helps maintain accessible rigor and depth of material, particularly in the coverage of tides and biological processes.
  • Discussion of The Oceans and Climate Change (Ch. 16) includes detailed coverage of greenhouse gases and the unintended and severe changes in the ocean, such ocean warming, more intense hurricanes, increasing ocean acidity, changes in deep-water circulation, melting of polar ice, and rising sea level, and how action must be taken to reduce human-caused greenhouse gases.
  • Video library includes 27 short video clips that show various oceanographic processes in action, now can be accessed via QR Code on your students’ mobile devices
  • Popular 'Students Sometimes Ask' feature answers common, and often entertaining, questions asked by real students (e.g., 'Why do my fingers get all wrinkly when I stay in the water for a long time?'; 'Can internal waves break?')
  • Diving Deeper : Thematic organisation of feature boxes highlights captivating examples and stories:
    • Historical Features focus on historical developments in oceanography that tie into chapter topics.
    • Research Methods in Oceanography highlights how oceanographic knowledge is obtained.
    • Oceans and People examines the interaction of humans and the ocean environment.
    • Focus on the Environment emphasises environmental issues, which are an increasingly important component of the book.
  • End-of-chapter questions and exercises help students self-check their understanding.
  • Geoscience Animations icons throughout the text are provided to:
    • Link the narrative to state-of-the art computer animations created by Al Trujillo and a panel of geoscience educators.
    • Help students visualise some of the most challenging oceanographic concepts.
    • Demonstrate animations of topics including Formation of Seamounts/Tablemounts and Stages of Coral Reef Development; How Calcareous Ooze Can Be Found Beneath the Calcite Compensation Depth (CCD); Ekman Spiral and Coastal Upwelling/Downwelling; Interference Patterns in Waves; The Deep Scattering Layer (DSL).
  • Key terms, noted in bold print, are defined when introduced and are included in the glossary.
  • The authors use the international metric system (Système International or SI units) with comparable English system units in parentheses

New to this Edition

  • Learning Outcomes are stated for each chapter to help frame student learning and supported by Essential Concepts, whichprovide a roadmap to each chapter’s key elements.
  • In-chapter assessment questions end each section of the chapter with NEW! Concept Check questions. These questions ask the students to stop and make sure they understood the Essential Concepts of the section before continuing to read the chapter. These questions cover all levels of Blooms Taxonomy and escalate in complexity, including summation questions that ask students to critically analyze the concepts being discussed.
  • Essential Concepts Review is the end-of-chapter review, now numerically correlated to each Essential Concept within the chapter to simplify the study process. This visual summary contains a review of the concept, the key figure, study resources available to the student, and a Critical Thinking Question.
  • 50+ NEW! Figures, including modern, more realistic illustrations of marine life, make oceanographic topics more accessible and easier to visualize.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction to Planet “Earth”

Chapter 2. Plate Tectonics and the Ocean Floor

Chapter 3. Marine Provinces

Chapter 4. Marine Sediments

Chapter 5. Water and Seawater

Chapter 6. Air–Sea Interaction

Chapter 7. Ocean Circulation

Chapter 8. Waves and Water Dynamics

Chapter 9. Tides

Chapter 10. The Coast: Beaches and Shoreline Processes

Chapter 11. The Coastal Ocean

Chapter 12. Marine Life and the Marine Environment

Chapter 13. Biological Productivity and Energy Transfer

Chapter 14. Animals of the Benthic Environment

Chapter 15. Animals of the Pelagic Environment

Chapter 16. The Oceans and Climate Change