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Ocean water seeps into cracks in the seafloor and is heated by magma from the Earth’s core. It must have rained for several centuries and the water got accumulated in the hollows of the earth’s surface. Because of the huge ocean size, it is very difficult to correctly assess its chemical composition. Carbon dioxide in the air dissolves into rainwater, making it slightly acidic. The high salt content in the sea water makes it unfit for human consumption. Almost all the elements that occur on earth are seen in oceans as well. Low salinities are seen in oceans and seas which are nearer to polar areas. The high salt content in the sea water makes it unfit for human consumption. Seawater tastes salty because of the build up of mineral salts in the sea. These waters get condensed and fall back to earth as rain. Stated in another way, about 3.5 percent of the weight of seawater comes from the dissolved salts. Creatures that survive in the ocean waters also contribute to several other elements. This image shows methane mussels living at the edge of a underwater brine pool in a cavern at a depth of 650 feet in the Gulf of Mexico. The acids … Near the equator, where temperatures are higher, more evaporation takes place and so the seawater has a higher concentration of salt. 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. It dissolves the minerals from rocks during rain and it flows from upstream down to the sea, a phenomenon called weathering. Other elements like magnesium, calcium, silica and bicarbonates are also present. The average salinity is about 35 parts per thousand. The rain contains little amount of acid, so during rainfall, the rocks and minerals are corroded. 96% of the earth’s water is sea water. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Read and Digest © 2020. 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. (Also know about dead sea) William Dittmar, a scientist collected several samples of ocean water to detect the salinity. This releases ions that are carried away to streams and rivers that eventually feed into the ocean. 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. Another source of salts in the ocean is hydrothermal fluids, which come from vents in the seafloor. Two of the most prevalent ions in seawater are chloride and sodium. Rainwater that falls on land is slightly acidic, so it erodes rocks. This means that in 1 liter (1000 mL) of seawater, there are 35 grams of salt (especially salt / NaCl, though not all). Sea water is salty because it contains large amounts of the salt Sodium Chloride. Coral reefs that are seen in warmer areas of oceans comprise of limestone. because it contains large amounts of the salt, . The heated water is released through vents in the seafloor, carrying the metals with it. Salt in the ocean comes from two sources: runoff from the land and openings in the seafloor. This releases ions that are carried away to … Apart from these, the existing sediments and minerals present in the ocean bed add to the salinity. In water, these are sodium, magnesium, and potassium cations, and chloride, sulfate, nitrate, and carbonate anions. 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. He conducted these tests in 1872 and continued for 4 years almost covering 68,890 nautical miles. Here, the salty water gets diluted with the melting of glaciers. Studies conducted by scientists say that the oceans and seas are almost 500 million years old. (Image Source: sxc.hu). Mollusk organisms like oysters and mussels extract calcium from the ocean and develop their shells and skeletons. 8. Other ions are found in very small concentrations. Why is the sea water salty? Here sea water reacts with the hot rocks erupted by the volcanoes and dissolves the mineral constituents. Salt in the sea, or ocean salinity, is mainly caused by rain washing mineral ions from the land into water. This also adds to the salt content of the ocean. To compare the salinity of fresh water and sea water, it is said that sea water is 220 times saltier than normal fresh water. Other source is from the rocks and the sediments that occupy the ocean floor. Many of the dissolved ions are used by organisms in the ocean and are removed from the water. Mostly, the salt content of the sea is derived from the earth’s crust in which igneous rocks break up and get cooled due to weathering and erosion, through mountains, and the rains and streams dissolve all these minerals and salts and transport these contents to the seas and oceans. Rocks on land are the major source of salts dissolved in seawater. Atmospheric phenomena like evaporation also increase the salt concentration in the oceans. Rainwater that falls on land is slightly acidic, so it erodes rocks. Read to know –. And the dead sea is 8.6 times saltier than the ocean water. These ions are carried with runoff water and ultimately reach the ocean. Sea water’s salinity changes as per the geographical location of the ocean. Others are not removed, so their concentrations increase over time. Another reason why ocean water is salty is submarine volcanism or the eruption of volcanoes under the ocean. Rocks on land are the major source of salts dissolved in seawater. 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