1. the branch of physical geography dealing with the ocean.


  1. the branch of science dealing with the physical, chemical, geological, and biological features of the oceans and ocean basins

n.1859, coined in English from ocean + -graphy; on analogy of geography. French océanographie is attested from 1580s but is said to have been rare before 1876. Related: Oceanographic.

  1. The scientific study of oceans, the life that inhabits them, and their physical characteristics, including the depth and extent of ocean waters, their movement and chemical makeup, and the topography and composition of the ocean floors. Oceanography also includes ocean exploration. Also called oceanology
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