Ocean Basin Profile
June 20, 2012

EAS 10000 Y01 Online Course
Homework Assignment #4 (30 points)
Ocean Basin Depth Profile
(Trans-Atlantic Ocean Depth Profile –
Cape Hatteras, North America to Cape Blanc, Africa) and Interpretation

Name: _________________________

Part I – Ocean basin depth profile – Atlantic Ocean basin

Objective: Plot a bathymetric (ocean depth) profile across the Atlantic Ocean to examine the typical shape of the ocean basins. This exercise also provides experience with graphing and concepts of scale.

Procedure: The table given on the next page contains depth data for a profile across the Atlantic Ocean from Cape Hatteras, North America to Cape Blanc, Africa. Plot the 61 distance and depth points on the attached graph, then connect the dots to form a bathymetric profile or ocean basin topography profile. (If you wish to plot by computer, you can obtain the data at: You can produce an Excel plot, or use other software, to paste into your Hwk 4 submission. If you plot by computer, please be sure to make the graph look similar to that shown on page 3.) Note that the distance scale is in kilometers and the depth scale is in meters. Thus, the depth data are vertically exaggerated (by a factor of 200) which enhances the subtle features of the ocean basin topography. A plot at true (1 to 1) scale will be provided later to show the actual topography. Vertical exaggeration is useful to display profile data when the horizontal extent of the data is very large and when the profile is relatively smooth. The data that are given in the table are sampled at a large interval (100 km between data points) and, thus, the bathymetric profile is only a rough approximation of the true ocean basin topography. However, the main features of the ocean basin are visible on the graph. For additional information, refer to p. 265-270 of Lutgens and Tarbuck (2011),...