Why is the sea water salty? Other ions are found in very small concentrations. (Also know about dead sea) William Dittmar, a scientist collected several samples of ocean water to detect the salinity. Because of the huge ocean size, it is very difficult to correctly assess its chemical composition. The high salt content in the sea water makes it unfit for human consumption. Coral reefs that are seen in warmer areas of oceans comprise of limestone. This releases ions that are carried away to streams and rivers that eventually feed into the ocean. Stated in another way, about 3.5 percent of the weight of seawater comes from the dissolved salts. Little known Facts about Fresh Water and Salt Water. Salt in the ocean comes from two sources: runoff from the land and openings in the seafloor. Rocks on land are the major source of salts dissolved in seawater. Another reason why ocean water is salty is submarine volcanism or the eruption of volcanoes under the ocean. Here, the salty water gets diluted with the melting of glaciers. Salinity is generally low at the equator and at the poles, and high at mid-latitudes. because it contains large amounts of the salt, . Rainwater that falls on land is slightly acidic, so it erodes rocks. The reason the sea is salty is because it is very old. All Rights Reserved. The rain contains little amount of acid, so during rainfall, the rocks and minerals are corroded. Rocks on land are the major source of salts dissolved in seawater. Atmospheric phenomena like evaporation also increase the salt concentration in the oceans. There is one theory which suggests that the ocean originated because of prolonged escape of gases and water vapour from the molten igneous rocks of the earth. Two of the most prevalent ions in seawater are chloride and sodium. And the dead sea is 8.6 times saltier than the ocean water. Salts are brought to the sea through many sources like rivers and streams which collect various minerals, salts and silt on their course and drain them into the oceans. As there will not be any fresh water inflow into the ocean in such areas, the salt content will be more. These ions are carried with runoff water and ultimately reach the ocean. Read to know –. The heat causes a series of chemical reactions. Many of the dissolved ions are used by organisms in the ocean and are removed from the water. Seawater has an average salt content of 3.5%. Sodium chloride or common table salt is the most … And the dead sea is 8.6 times saltier than the ocean water. He gave 77 samples and till today these are considered as the standard for counting the salinity ratio in ocean waters. Near the poles, melting ice and heavy rain dilute the seawater, making it less salty. Read to know – what is dead sea. The pool of brine in the foreground is nearly four times as salty as seawater and is so dense that a submarine can float on the pool (in fact, this photo was shot from a submarine). It dissolves the minerals from rocks during rain and it flows from upstream down to the sea, a phenomenon called weathering. The Baltic Sea has less salinity with 5 to 15 parts of salts per thousand pounds of ocean water. Salinity of oceans is measured per thousand pounds of ocean water. Some areas of the ocean are saltier than others. He conducted these tests in 1872 and continued for 4 years almost covering 68,890 nautical miles. Studies conducted by scientists say that the oceans and seas are almost 500 million years old. Sodium chloride constitutes 85 percent of the dissolved elements in the ocean water. Near the equator, where temperatures are higher, more evaporation takes place and so the seawater has a higher concentration of salt. Updated, Sea water is salty because it contains large amounts of the salt Sodium Chloride. 96% of the earth’s water is sea water. The high salt content in the sea water makes it unfit for human consumption. (Image Source: sxc.hu). Sea water is salty because it contains large amounts of the salt Sodium Chloride. This process is known as the hydrologic cycle. These waters get condensed and fall back to earth as rain. Sea water contains not just salt but it is a complex solution of several mineral salts and decayed biologic matter. One more reason why the salinity of the oceans does not reduce even after river water merges with the oceans is, the process of evaporation by sun’s heat vaporizes pure water from oceans leaving the salts behind. 8. Seawater tastes salty because of the build up of mineral salts in the sea. The salt in rivers is less than 1/200th the amount usually found in seawater. The acids … Along with this, the salts in the ocean add up to the salty taste and that is the reason why there is no difference in taste even after fresh water merges with oceans. The water tends to lose oxygen, magnesium, and sulfates, and pick up metals such as iron, zinc, and copper from surrounding rocks. Other elements like magnesium, calcium, silica and bicarbonates are also present. Salts are brought to the sea through many sources like rivers and streams which collect various minerals, salts and silt on their course and drain them into the oceans. Carbon dioxide in the air dissolves into rainwater, making it slightly acidic. The solid and gaseous materials that escape the earth’s crust via volcanic vents also contribute to make the seawater salty.. Rivers carry around 4 billion tons of salt every year. But scientists are still not clear about the chemical composition. Another source of salts in the ocean is hydrothermal fluids, which come from vents in the seafloor. Almost all the elements that occur on earth are seen in oceans as well.

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