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Why is the ocean salty?

Question by Translated Content | 22/05/2012 at 15:23

I wonder, why there is salt water in oceans, but freshwater is flowing through rivers, ditches and lakes on the mainland. Is the sea not fed by the water of the rivers? Where is the salt coming from?

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To answer this question, we have to look at the water cycle in detail. Let's start here with the clouds and the rain. The rain on the mainland causes, that the water gathers somewhere and then flows back into the ocean via the rivers. Above the sea (as well as over all other bodies of water), the water evaporates again, forming new clouds and finally this leads to the fact that this circuit is closed.

On the way from the mountains to the oceans through the rivers, the water washes all possible minerals, salts and other substances out of the rocks and the ground. This makes the water continuously transporting these substanced into the sea.

Thus, the concentration of salt in the rivers is low. In the rivers, there is always just the salt that has just been freshly washed out. In the oceans, however, the salt accumulates. Because when the water evaporates, the salt remains back in the sea. Over millions of years, more and more salt has been collected in the sea and so we can now wonder today about the salt water.
22/05/2012 at 22:37

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