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What Is Salinity in The Ocean?

The seawater is salty due to the presence of the chemical in it. Most of them are carried by the rivers containing chemicals dissolved...

The seawater is salty due to the presence of the chemical in it.Rivers carry most of the chemicals dissolved from rocks and soil. Sodium chloride is the main source of salt in the seawater.

  • The term used to define the total content of dissolved salt in seawater is salinity.
  • One can calculate the salinity by determining the amount of salt dissolved in 1000 grams or 1 kg of seawater.
  • Ocean salinity can be express as parts per thousand or ppt
  • If the salinity of seawater reaches 24.7, it is consider the upper limit. If the salt content in the ocean is 24.7, then the water is known as brackish water.
  • Salinity means the total content of dissolved salts in Sea or Ocean.
  • To calculate salinity, one calculates the amount of salt dissolved in 1,000 grams of seawater.
  • It is generally express as ‘parts per thousand’ (ppt).
  • A salinity of 24.7 % has been regards as the upper limit to fix ‘brackish water’.
  • It is a significant factor in deciding several characteristics of the chemistry of natural waters and biological processes.
  • Isohalines are used on maps to show the salinity of different places.
  • Isohalines – lines joining places having an equal degree of salinity.
  • The average salinity of the ocean – 3.5% or 35 parts of salt in 1000 parts of water.

Salinity in the ocean refers to the measure of the concentration of dissolved salts, predominantly sodium chloride (NaCl), in seawater. It is typically express in parts per thousand (ppt) or practical salinity units (psu). Salinity affects the density, buoyancy, and freezing point of seawater, playing a crucial role in ocean circulation and the distribution of marine organisms.

Ques 1. How is salinity maintained in the ocean?

Answer. The ocean maintains salinity through balancing the inputs and outputs of water and dissolved salts. Inputs of salt include weathering of rocks on land, volcanic activity, and inputs from rivers and groundwater. On the other hand, outputs occur through processes like evaporation and formation of sea ice.The inputs and outputs of water and dissolved salts in the ocean roughly balance each other, resulting in a relatively constant global average salinity over long periods.

Ques 2. How does salinity vary in different parts of the ocean?

Answer. Salinity can vary significantly across different parts of the ocean. Generally, areas near the equator and in subtropical regions experience higher evaporation rates, resulting in higher salinity. In contrast, regions closer to the poles or influenced by freshwater input from rivers and precipitation tend to have lower salinity. Coastal areas may also exhibit variations in salinity due to the mixing of seawater with freshwater from rivers and estuaries.

Ques 3. What are the implications of salinity on marine life?

Answer. Salinity plays a crucial role in shaping the distribution and adaptation of marine organisms. Different species have varying tolerances for salinity levels, and salinity gradients can act as barriers or facilitators for their movement and survival. Some organisms, like marine fish and mammals, have specialized physiological mechanisms to maintain their internal salt balance in different salinity conditions. Changes in salinity due to factors such as climate change or freshwater input can have significant impacts on marine ecosystems, affecting the distribution, abundance, and diversity of species.

Read Also : Vertical Distribution Of Temperature In The Oceans

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