Why is the sea salty?

Dlaczego morze jest słone? Why is the sea salty?


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When you take a bath in a lake or river and accidentally drink water, it is similar to tap water, right? Sea water is different. Not only is salty, it stinges your eyes and in the evening you need to wash the salt in the shower. Ever wonder why is the sea salty?

Why is the sea salty? Where does salt come from?

All rainfall (rain, snow, hail) is clear water. Unfortunately, our planet is not so clean and produces (or rather people produce) quite a lot of carbon dioxide, sulphur oxide and nitrogen, which combine with water. The result is the so-called acid rain.

Such acid, corrosive rain falls to the ground and soaks into the soil. Underneath are rocks that react with acids. The vast majority of rocks are made of compounds containing chlorine and sodium, which together give … salt 🙂

How does salt get to the sea?

The rain continues to fall and wash the salt from the soil, and then take it to the sea by rivers. You say, right now, why are the rivers not salty either? Well, the water in the river flows all the time and salt does not have time to accumulate the right amount. Instead, when it gets to the sea, it accumulates in it, and the rivers constantly provide new and new portions.

Even considering that the seas and oceans are very old, there is another factor that increases the salinity of seawater. Namely, evaporation. Water evaporates from the surface all the time, but only water can change into water vapour. Everything dissolved in it remains below. Water follows the hydrological cycle and salt remains.

How much salt is in the sea?

If you took all the salt from the seas and oceans and spilt it on land, a 166-meter layer would be formed. For comparison, a four-storey block is about 20 m, St. Mary’s Church in Krakow 82 m, and the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw (to the balcony) 187 m.

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