Explanation of Why Seawater is Salty and Looks Blue

Why Seawater is Salty

Basically, all the water sourced from the earth is salty, but the levels vary. The water we drink also contains salt but very little, so it is not felt by our sense of taste. While seawater has a high enough salt content so that it feels salty.


Actually salty taste at the seawater comes from the land, where the process scheme is as follows:


Rain => Water seeps into the ground => into the river => back into the sea


Why is seawater salty?

There are several processes that cause seawater to be salty. As the scheme is told that when there is rain, water will seep into the ground, then from the catchments it will enter the river then into the sea again.


The process of heading to the sea, water from the mainland naturally carries mineral salts that come from between rocks in the earth's crust, so that the sea is filled with mineral salts.


We know that the ocean has a very wide surface, so this becomes one of the factors of evaporation that is quite large. By the time the seawater evaporates and becomes a cloud then rains, all that evaporates is only H2O (water). While the content of mineral salts stays with seawater and keep seawater salty.


Other than that, the level of seawater can also be influenced by temperature factors. Usually the hotter an area, then the seawater of the area will feel salty.


Seawater Saltiness Level

According to Lasatira (2017), seawater has a clear color, contains a fairly high amount of salt, and is expressed as a percentage of salinity. Seawater is naturally saline water with a salt content of about 35%.


It is estimated that the salt content of the sea on our Earth is about 5 x 10 to the power of 16 tons of salt. For comparison If the salt is spread on the surface of the land in this world the thickness of about 40 high-rise buildings. Or about 1.02338 grams per cubic. The salinity of seawater is 220 times saltier than water elsewhere.


Explanation of Blue Seawater?

Seawater has no color or clear, so why is it blue? The answer is because the water absorbs light and reflects it. Here's the full explanation:


  1. Two optical processes occur in seawater, namely absorption and scattering. When the sun hits clear water, red and infrared light are absorbed quickly, while blue light is a bit slower. Only turquoise light can be transmitted inward, then scattered and transmitted without being absorbed. So, because turquoise light is slow to creep, and only turquoise light can be transmitted which is the main reason why seawater is blue.
  2. In addition, the salt content in the sea also affects the bluish level of the sea. The more salt content in the sea, the higher the bluish level of the sea.


So that's information about why seawater is salty and looks blue. Hopefully the above information can provide benefits and can answer our curiosity about where the salty taste of seawater comes from, and why seawater can be blue.


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