How do we study the HYDROSPHERE?
There are many ways to study the hydrosphere. The largest components of the hydrosphere, the oceans and seas, are studied by:
1. Taking instruments on ships to measure the characteristics of the water wherever the ship goes.
2. Letting out buoys both on the surface and at depth to measure both the characteristics of the water and the currents at a particular location.
3. Diving in submersible vehicles to study underwater processes, such as those at the sea floor or including life under the water's surface.
4. Using data from satellites such as AQUA, SeaWinds or JASON to gather information (mainly about the ocean surface) over large areas. For more information see http://science.hq.nasa.gov/oceans/missions.html
Similar instruments are used to study the smaller components of the hydrosphere, such as rivers, streams, lakes and ponds.
The instruments used to measure these smaller bodies of water are at particular sites along the river/stream or in the lake/pond. By taking measurements of temperature, composition, and sediment content along the length of the river/stream or around a lake/pond you can begin to understand the sources of changes that occur in that body of water.
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