Chemical and Physical Features of Sea Water & The World Ocean

Some of what you need to know about our ocean.

The types of organisms found at a given place in the ocean, and the way those organisms live, is controlled to a large extent by chemical and physical factors of seawater.

In most cases, marine organisms are 80% water. (Jellyfish are 95% water)

All mater is made of atoms.

The attractions between liquid water molecules are called hydrogen bonds.

Temperature is a reflection of the Speed of water molecules.

Seawater becomes denser as it cools.

Solids that consist of regular patters of molecules are called crystals

Liquid water is more dense than the solid phase.

Water is the only substance that can exist in 3 states of matter.

Water is especially good at dissolving a general class of molecules called salts, which are made of combinations of particles that have opposite electrical charges.

The chemical and physical properties of seawater are due both to the nature of pure water and materials dissolved in it.

Weathered rocks, Hydrothermal vents, and Volcanoes are three main sources for the solids dissolved in seawater.

Both Sodium and Chloride account for about 85% of the dissolved solids in seawater.

Salinity is defined as the total amount of salt dissolved in sea water expressed as ppt(parts per thousand).

Hydrothermal vents, Intense biological activity and large amounts of positively charged ions(rain or snow) can cause a variation in ion proportions found in seawater

Water is removed from the ocean primarily by the process called evaporation and to a lesser extent by the process called freezing.

The average salinity of the ocean is 35% but varies depending on the balance between evaporation and precipitation.

The temperature and salinity of seawater determines its density. Seawater gets denser as it gets saltier, colder, or both.

A CTD measures Salinity, Temperature, and depth.

Oxygen, Nitrogen, and Carbon Dioxide are the three most important dissolved gases in the ocean for organisms.

Gases dissolve better in cold water.

The amount of oxygen in the water is strongly affected by organisms through photosynthesis and respiration. 

One of the most biologically important properties of seawater is that it is relatively transparent. 

Clear water is most transparent to blue light.

At depths greater than 1,000 meters there is no light.

Organisms on land are under one atmosphere(ATM) of pressure. With each 10 meters(33 feet) of increased depth, another unit of pressure is added.

Deep water is normally cold and dense.

Surface water is warm and light(not as heavy).

THe water column in the ocean is usually stable, with the denser water on the bottom.

“Overturn” results in the surface water sinking.

The thermocline is a sudden change in temperature.

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