Glossary of Terms

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The physical space where an organism, population or species lives. Habitats are usually categorized by particular physical or biological characteristics (e.g., coral reefs, mangrove forests).

Any protected water area affording a place of safety for vessels. A harbor may be natural or man-made.

General term applied to impermeable coastal defense structures of concrete, timber, steel, masonry, etc, which reflect a high proportion of incident wave energy.

In strictness, the intersection of the plane of mean high water with the shore. For specific occurrences, the highest elevation on the shore reached during a storm or rising tide, including meteorological effects.

An intense tropical cyclone in which winds tend to spiral inward toward a core of low pressure, with maximum surface wind velocities that equal or exceed 33.5 m/sec (75 mph or 65 knots) for several minutes or longer at some points.

Tropical storm is the term applied if maximum winds are less than 33.5 m/sec but greater than a whole gale (63 mph or 55 knots). Term is used in the Atlantic , Gulf of Mexico , and eastern Pacific.

Line of movement (propagation) of the eye through an area.

The description and study of seas, lakes, rivers and other waters; the science of locating aids and dangers to navigation; the description of physical properties of the waters of a region.

The study of the processes affecting the movement of freshwater, including underground waters.

Waters with a low concentration of oxygen.