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The following outline is provided as an overview of and introduction to Oceanography.

What type of thing is oceanography?

Oceanography can be described as all of the following: The study of the physical and biological aspects of the ocean

Thermohaline circulation

Oceanography (from Ancient Greek ὠκεανός (ōkeanós) 'ocean', and γραφή (graphḗ) 'writing'), also known as oceanology and ocean science, is the scientific study of the oceans. It is an important Earth science, which covers a wide range of topics, including ecosystem dynamics; ocean currents, waves, and geophysical fluid dynamics; plate tectonics and the geology of the sea floor; and fluxes of various chemical substances and physical properties within the ocean and across its boundaries. These diverse topics reflect multiple disciplines that oceanographers utilize to glean further knowledge of the world ocean, including astronomy, biology, chemistry, climatology, geography, geology, hydrology, meteorology and physics. Paleoceanography studies the history of the oceans in the geologic past. An oceanographer is a person who studies many matters concerned with oceans, including marine geology, physics, chemistry and biology. (Full article...)

Basic oceanography concepts, processes, theories and terminology

Branches of oceanography

Related sciences

Related technology

Biological oceanography

Biological oceanography – The study of how organisms affect and are affected by the physics, chemistry, and geology of the oceanographic system

Marine realms

Marine realm – Top-level grouping of marine ecoregions

Marine ecoregions

Marine ecoregions – Ecological regions of the oceans and seas identified and defined based on biogeographic characteristics

Mangrove ecoregions

List of mangrove ecoregions – List ordered according to region

Chemical oceanography

Chemical oceanography – The study of ocean chemistry

Equipment, instrumentation and technologies

Research vessels

Research vessel – A ship or boat designed, modified, or equipped to carry out research at sea



Geological oceanography

(Outline of Marine geology – Hierarchical outline list of articles on marine geology)

Marine geology – The study of the history and structure of the ocean floor

Fracture zones

Fracture zone – A junction between oceanic crustal regions of different ages on the same plate left by a transform fault

Geology of the North Sea

Geology of the North Sea – Description of the current geological features and the geological history that created them

New Zealand seafloor

New Zealand seafloor – The topography and geography of the seafloor in New Zealand's territorial waters.

Oceanic ridges

Oceanic trenches

Oceanic trench – the deepest parts of the ocean floor, typically formed when one tectonic plate slides under another.

Plate tectonics

Plate tectonics – The scientific theory that describes the large-scale motions of Earth's lithosphere


Seamount – A mountain rising from the ocean seafloor that does not reach to the water's surface

Seamounts of the Atlantic Ocean

Seamounts of the Indian Ocean

Seamounts of the Mediterranean

Seamounts of the Pacific Ocean

Seamounts of the Southern Ocean –

Subduction zones

Subduction zones – A geological process at convergent tectonic plate boundaries where one plate moves under the other

Submarine calderas

Submarine calderas – Volcanic calderas that are partially or fully submerged under the water of a larger ocean or lake, sometimes forming a reef, bay or harbor.


Paleoceanography – The study of the history of the oceans in the geologic past

Physical Oceanography

(Outline of physical oceanography – Hierarchical outline list of articles on physical oceanography)

Physical oceanography – The study of physical conditions and physical processes within the ocean


Acoustical oceanography – The use of underwater sound to study the sea, its boundaries and its contents


Circulation terminology and concepts:

Circulation phenomena

To be sorted:

Currents of the Arctic Ocean
Currents of the Atlantic Ocean
Currents of the Indian Ocean
Currents of the Pacific Ocean
Currents of the Southern Ocean

Ocean gyres

Ocean gyre – Any large system of recirculating ocean currents

Coastal and oceanic landforms

Landforms – Natural features of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body

Coastal landforms

Oceanic (submarine) landforms

Coastal and oceanic landforms – specific cases – move to another section


Ocean – A body of saline water that composes much of a planet's hydrosphere

Ocean zones

Ocean zones – Not mutually exclusive


Sea – A large body of salt water surrounded in whole or in part by land

Marginal seas of the Atlantic coasts of the Americas (coast wise north to south)

Marginal seas of the Atlantic coasts of Europe, Africa, and Asia

Marginal seas of the Northern Atlantic islands (east to west)

Marginal seas of the Arctic Ocean (clockwise from 180°)

Marginal seas of the Indian Ocean

Marginal seas of the Pacific coast of the Americas

Marginal seas of the Pacific coasts of Asia and Oceania

Marginal seas of the Southern Ocean

Sea ice

Sea ice – Ice formed from frozen seawater


Iceberg – A large piece of freshwater ice broken off a glacier or ice shelf and floating in open water

Sea level

Sea level – Average level for the surface of the ocean at any given geographical position on the planetary surface


Tide – The periodic change of sea levels caused by the gravitational and inertial effects of the Moon, the Sun and the rotation of the Earth

Storm tides

Storm surge Rise of water surface associated with a low pressure weather system

Tidal bores

Tidal bore – A hydrodynamic phenomenon in which the leading edge of the incoming tide forms a wave (or waves) of water that travels up a river or narrow bay against the direction of the river or bay's current.

Tidal islands

Tidal island – Land which is connected to the mainland by a causeway which is covered by high tide and exposed at low tide

Tidal islands of Canada
Tidal islands of France
Tidal islands of Germany
Tidal islands of Ireland
Tidal islands of England
Tidal islands of Scotland
Tidal islands of Northern Ireland
Tidal islands of Wales
Tidal islands of the United States


Whirlpool – Body of rotating water produced by the meeting of opposing currents


Gravity wave – Wave generated in a fluid medium or at the interface between two media when the force of gravity or buoyancy tries to restore equilibrium

Oceanographical institutions and major projects




History of oceanography

Main article: History of oceanography

Oceanography awards

Politics, laws and activism

Persons influential in oceanography


Marine geologists

Marine geology – The study of the history and structure of the ocean floor