A student from the HIGH TIDE project turns on the CTD instrument. High school students use the CTD recorder to measure salinity, temperature and depth of the water in the Lafayette River which is a part of Chesapeake Bay.
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Image courtesy of the HIGH TIDE project
Salinity - Dissolved Salts, Measuring Salinity
Salinity is the measure of how much salt is in water
. Ocean water
has a high salinity and fresh water has a very low salinity.
Sometimes, salinity is measured in parts per million (ppm). Ocean water has a salinity that is about 35,000 ppm. That's the same as saying ocean water is about 3.5% salt. Sometimes, salinity is measured in different units. Ocean salinity is also about 35 psu (practical salinity units).
Ocean water has a lot of salt in it. Most of it is normal table salt (made up of chlorine and sodium). Chlorine, sodium and the other major dissolved salts of the ocean are listed in the following table:
|Dissolved salts in
sea water (atoms):
|55.3 % Chlorine
|30.8 % Sodium
|3.7 % Magnesium
|2.6 % Sulfur
|1.2 % Calcium
|1.1 % Potassium
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
The Spring 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist
, focuses on the ocean, including articles on polar research, coral reefs, ocean acidification, and climate. Includes a gorgeous full color poster!
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