Why is the Seawater Salty? Here is the Explanation!
Have you ever been to the beach? Have you ever been to the sea? Of course, you have. In Indonesia, the seas and beaches are quite numerous. Sometimes, some beaches are even used as recreational and swimming areas. Usually, Indonesian people go with their loved ones like family and friends. The presence of food and drinks on the beach also adds an interesting point to the cool atmosphere of recreation. When you swim on the beach and sea, have you ever accidentally drunk the seawater? How did it feel? It must have tasted salty. Even some children may feel that the seawater is not good for the body because there is salt in it. So, why is the seawater salty?
What Causes the Seawater Salty?
Seawater is water that comes from the ocean. Seawater can be salty because it contains an average salt content of 3.5%. This is also a place for the salt farmers in producing cooking salt and other salt. So that the world community can use it as food, or protective material from reptiles such as snakes.
If seawater contains 3.5% water, then in 2.5 liters (2500 ml) of seawater, there are 60 grams of salt. Most seawater in the world has a salinity of around 3.5%.
Some theories explain that seawater comes from rainwater that falls and flows through rivers and estuaries where the seawater will be fully filled and again formed clouds because the steam uses the help of the sun. When we talk about this, we talk about the rainwater cycle.
But when the rainwater process occurs, the water that passes through the river carries mineral salts such as potassium, calcium, sodium, and other mineral materials. These mineral salts can be obtained from various places starting from rocks, and the Earth’s crust that is traversed as long as the water flows.
(Also read: The Reason Why the Sea Looks Bluish and Greenish)
Reasons on Why Seawater Taste Salty
These remaining mineral salts make seawater salty, so the salinity of seawater is different in each part of the world. But it is a certain that seawater is salty or has high salinity.
Apart from the reasons above, there are several other reasons why seawater becomes salty. For example, the Dead Sea in Israel, where the temperature is quite hot so that evaporation is carried out greater and of course the level of ocean acidity will be higher. If the salt content of seawater is usually at point 0, the level of the Dead Sea is around 30% higher. This makes seawater increasingly salty and also has nine times higher salinity.
Oftentimes, clouds obtained from the Dead Sea vapors blow and shift so that they fall and flow to other countries or other ocean currents. Given the wide range of clouds and depending on the wind, some surrounding countries will also be affected by the Dead Sea and the level of salinity will be high or goes up.
Land and Salinity
Actually, saltiness from the sea can also be affected by land, for example, if there is rain on the land, water will enter the soil little by little and when the land is full and outside the reservoir, the water will gradually come out through the river and finally to the sea. This water flow is not as big as river water or rain, but when water enters the land and flows into the sea, the land contains enough salt and minerals that can affect the taste of seawater.
Factors that affect the salt content of seawater are quite a lot. Seawater has salinity because the Earth is filled with mineral salts, especially in the rocks and also in the soil. But the salt in question mixes with other hidden ingredients. So you cannot immediately see or feel it. Examples are sodium, potassium, caustic, etc.
If river water flows into the ocean and carries the salt, the sea waves that will hit the water of the beach produce a formation like crystals or rocks. From there, the collisions and temperature differences make some non-water materials become formed and crystallize. Over time, the seawater becomes salty because it contains a lot of salt and you can start to harvest salt.
The most bargain seas on Earth are located in several areas such as the eastern Gulf of Finland and in the north of the Gulf of Bothnia, both parts of the Baltic Sea. Perhaps if you swim there, the level of salinity is not too much so that the salt production is lacking. The saltiest sea in the world is the Red Sea where the temperature there is quite high with little input of water from the river. There is also the Dead Sea as described above where due to the high salinity when you swim there, you can float.