Environmental Protection Agency Narragansett Bay Commission University of Rhode Island Office of Marine Programs

Estuarine Science

Salinity

1. What is salinity?
2. How do we measure Salinity?
3. What is the salinity of Narragansett Bay?
4. What can we learn about Narragansett Bay by measuring salinity?
5. Why is the ocean salty?


4. What can we learn about Narragansett Bay by measuring salinity?

Salinity has a big impact on where marine creatures can live. Many animals adapted to live in the ocean cannot survive in low salinity conditions. The opposite is also true; most organisms adapted to live in low salinity conditions cannot live in water with typical ocean salinity (35 ppt).

Many physical properties are affected by salinity. To measure some chemical properties of the water, the salinity must be known to make the proper calculations (i.e. oxygen saturation). Salinity and temperature of the water affect the density of the water.

Salinity can be used to track circulation in the Bay. Changes in salinity can tell us about fresh water input and residence times.


1. What is salinity?
2. How do we measure Salinity?
3. What is the salinity of Narragansett Bay?
4. What can we learn about Narragansett Bay by measuring salinity?
5. Why is the ocean salty?

       


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