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ocean @ myrtle beach

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Connecticut
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119 posts
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ocean @ myrtle beach

Hi, I was just wondering how the ocean was at myrtle beach. Is it that nice clear water you find in the caribbean, or is it that crapy brown stuff the beaches have in new england. I was also wondering how the temperature was. I was told it was even warmer than the water in costa rica but im not sure if that could possible be true. Any help would be greatly appreciated

Pennsylvania
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1. Re: ocean @ myrtle beach

its not clear like the caribbean...

NJ
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2. Re: ocean @ myrtle beach

It's a nice compromise between the two. After storms it can be a little murky, but most of the time it's clear enough so that you can easily see fish beneath and around you. The best thing is it's a good 15 degrees warmer.

hanover, pa
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3. Re: ocean @ myrtle beach

it's not clear, but i wouldn't describe it as brown, i'd say it's cloudy from the sand. it is very warm, i've never been to the caribbean, so i can't say if it's as warm as it is there.

Cranston, RI
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4. Re: ocean @ myrtle beach

According to the NOAA the water temperture for July and August is around 83 degrees. And nope is not Carribean Aqua blue but it is a nice blue and clean too and sometimes the surf/waves can be a bit overwhelming so be careful.

Mom4Boys, another new pic for you?

Pennsylvania
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5. Re: ocean @ myrtle beach

Yea... Like to switch these photos around...

a girl gets bored...

I had a really cute one....but it was a woman on the beach

in a sandchair.. I cant find it..

Oh, and I was goofing around at Off topic chatter..with photos..

:)))

Myrtle Beach, South...
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6. Re: ocean @ myrtle beach

Obviously opinoins vary, I think the water here is a greenish/brownish color, I do not think you can see thru it at all, except right at the shoreline. If you go out about 100 yrds or so, it does look a little prettier but nothing like Florida Keys. As for clean, I guess most of you know my opinion on it and any ocean water, they are not clean, just some days have less bacteria then others. Heavy rains will bring out swimming advisories along certain portions of MB, high bacteria levels. When we were in Key West in April, they had 3 beaches closed due to high bacteria levels, so that being said, I find it unappealing myself to get in the water.

North Carolina
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7. Re: ocean @ myrtle beach

I agree with hart1 that the water at MB is greenish-brown, and I wouldn't call it clear.

The Big Chicken
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8. Re: ocean @ myrtle beach

Ditto Hart1.

NJ
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9. Re: ocean @ myrtle beach

It's not Carribean clear, but compared to some of the beaches in New England and the Mid-Atlantic it is much clearer. And WARMER

NC
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10. Re: ocean @ myrtle beach

The color of the water has absolutely NOTHING to do with how clean or safe it is. The deeper the water, the bluer it "looks". The ocean is blue for the same reason the sky is blue. Wavelengths of blue light are scattered by water molecules. Water is faint blue. Although water appears clear in small quanities (like a glass of water), the blue color becomes visible the more water we look through. Thus, deep lakes and seas are bluer than a shallow river. If you feel like doing a little reading this will explain the colors you see. I've fished them from Maryland to Texas and know them well in North and South Carolina. The plankton you see....the earth and it's people can not live without it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I own 10 farm ponds and have done research on fertilizing them and keeping the PH levels in good balance and growing the plankton. I even have windmills with pumps to increase the oxygen in the water through aeration.

Water Clarity

Have you ever wondered why the water around the Virgin Islands is so clear? You may think that the reason for this is that the ocean here is less polluted than off the coast of the United States or Europe. This may be part of the story, but even in the most remote and unspoiled regions of the north the oceans are not nearly as clear as some of the more developed bays of St. John.

Plankton

The real answer to the question has to do with an entity called plankton which The Concise Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia defines as: "very small to microscopic plants and animals that have little or no power of locomotion and drift or float in surface waters."

If you've ever looked carefully through the water using a dive mask you've probably seen the tiny, odd-shaped particles suspended in the water and drifting about at the mercy of the smallest currents. These particles are plankton that happen to be big enough to be seen by the naked eye.

There are two classes of plankton, plant plankton, called phytoplankton and animal plankton, called zooplankton.

Phytoplankton

Phytoplankton are probably the most important life forms on the planet. To begin with, they provide food for all other life in the ocean. Moreover, because they are part of the plant kingdom, they nourish themselves through the process of photosynthesis, which uses sunlight to turn carbon dioxide and nitrogen into sugars and starches. One of the waste products of this process is oxygen. Phytoplankton, although microscopic in size, are so abundant that they produce the majority of the world's oxygen, without which, life on our planet would not exist as we know it.

Because phytoplankton need sunlight, they must exist close to the surface of the ocean. Zooplankton depend upon phytoplankton for food and form a planktonic layer immediately below the plant plankton.

Water Temperature and Resulting Currents

In colder parts of the world the ocean water is warmer on the bottom of the ocean than on the top, especially in the winter. Nutrients washed down from the land by rivers, as well as waste products of fish and other sea life, tend to settle towards the bottom. Warm water rises, and when the bottom of the sea is warmer than the top, the nutrients are swept towards the surface by rising currents. These nutrients act as fertilizer for the phytoplankton, and also may serve as food for the zooplankton. The presence of these nutrients near the ocean surface creates an abundance of planktonic life. There is so much plankton in these colder waters that the ocean appears murky.

In the tropics the sun constantly warms the ocean surface, which, consequently, is warmer than the bottom. Lacking upward currents, nutrients tend to settle to the bottom of the sea and stay there. Planktonic life is scarce and the tropical waters are clear.

Sediments

Another phenomenon responsible for the clarity of the Virgin Island waters is the absence of major rivers and streams. The relatively small streams, or guts, that drain the mountain valleys of St. John and the rest of the Virgin Islands generally lead to salt ponds or mangrove swamps. This allows silt and sediments carried by the stream to settle in the pond or be filtered by the mangrove roots before entering the sea which minimizes turbidity or water cloudiness.

Seagrass

In addition, offshore coral reefs (that happen to be dependent on clear water for their very survival) protect the shoreline from the full force of ocean swells and thus keep bottom sediments from being too churned up. Undersea grass beds also keep water clear by slowing down bottom currents as well as by stabilizing the sea bottom with their complicated root system.

If someone were to ask you what is the color of the ocean, chances are that you would answer that is was blue. For most of the world's oceans, your answer would be correct. Pure water is perfectly clear, of course -- but if there is a lot of water, and the water is very deep so that there are no reflections off the sea floor, the water appears as a very dark navy blue. The reason the ocean is blue is due to the absorption and scattering of light. The blue wavelengths of light are scattered, similar to the scattering of blue light in the sky but absorption is a much larger factor than scattering for the clear ocean water. In water, absorption is strong in the red and weak in the blue, thus red light is absorbed quickly in the ocean leaving blue. Almost all sunlight that enters the ocean is absorbed, except very close to the coast. The red, yellow, and green wavelengths of sunlight are absorbed by water molecules in the ocean. When sunlight hits the ocean, some of the light is reflected back directly but most of it penetrates the ocean surface and interacts with the water molecules that it encounters. The red, orange, yellow, and green wavelengths of light are absorbed so that the remaining light we see is composed of the shorter wavelength blues and violets.

If there are any particles suspended in the water, they will increase the scattering of light. In coastal areas, runoff from rivers, resuspension of sand and silt from the bottom by tides, waves and storms and a number of other substances can change the color of the near-shore waters. Some types of particles (in particular, the cells of phytoplankton, also referred to as algae) can also contain substances that absorb certain wavelengths of light, which alters its characteristics. The most important light-absorbing substance in the oceans is chlorophyll, which phytoplankton use to produce carbon by photosynthesis. Due to this green pigment - chlorophyll - phytoplankton preferentially absorb the red and blue portions of the light spectrum (for photosynthesis) and reflect green light. So, the ocean over regions with high concentrations of phytoplankton will appear as certain shades, from blue-green to green, depending upon the type and density of the phytoplankton population there. The basic principle behind the remote sensing of ocean color from space is this: the more phytoplankton in the water, the greener it is....the less phytoplankton, the bluer it is. There are other substances that may be found dissolved in the water that can also absorb light. Since these substances are usually composed of organic carbon, researchers generally refer to these substances as colored dissolved organic matter, CDOM for short.

The study of ocean color helps scientists gain a better understanding of phytoplankton and their impact on the Earth system. These small organisms can affect a system on a very large scale such as climate change. Phytoplankton use carbon dioxide for photosynthesis and in turn provide almost half the oxygen we breathe. The larger the world's phytoplankton population, the more carbon dioxide gets pulled from the atmosphere, hence, the lower the average temperature due to lower volumes of this greenhouse gas. Scientists have found that a given population of phytoplankton can double its numbers about once per day. In other words, phytoplankton respond very rapidly to changes in their environment. Large populations of these organisms, sustained over long periods of time, could significantly lower atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and, in turn, lower average temperatures. Carbon can be 'stored' in oceanic sediments when organic matter sinks and is buried in the ocean floor.

Understanding and monitoring phytoplankton can help scientists study and predict environmental change. Since phytoplankton depend upon sunlight, water, and nutrients to survive, physical or chemical variance in any of these ingredients over time for a given region will affect the phytoplankton concentrations. Phytoplankton populations grow or diminish rapidly in response to changes in its environment. Changes in the trends for a given phytoplankton population, such as its density, distribution, and rate of population growth or diminishment, will alert Earth scientists that environmental conditions are changing there. Then, by comparing these phytoplankton trends to other measurements - such as temperature - scientists can learn more about how phytoplankton may be contributing to, and affected by, climatic and environmental change.

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