Encyclopedia of Geochemistry

Living Edition
| Editors: William M. White

Ocean Salinity, Major Elements, and Thermohaline Circulation

  • Hein J. W. de Baar
  • Steven M. A. C. van Heuven
  • Rob Middag
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-39193-9_120-1

Definition

Salinity is the total amount of dissolved salts in seawater, generally reported in grams/kg (parts per thousand). Salinity is in turn dominated by only a few major elements in ionic form: Na+, Mg2+, Ca2+, K+, Sr2+, Cl, SO42−, Br, F, and HCO3. Temperature together with salinity determines the density of seawater, which governs the vertical circulation of the oceans, known as the thermohaline circulation.

Introduction

Ocean geochemistry is the discipline focusing mostly on the inorganic constituents of seawater in the world oceans. Interactions with biology and organic chemistry, and external sources and sinks, such as rivers, atmosphere, hydrothermal vents, and sediments, do play a role. Marine geochemistry comprises a far wider range including other aspects of inorganic geochemistry and organic geochemistry, and secondly not only the seawater but also investigations focusing on the underlying marine sediments and their inorganic and organic contents.

Seawater comprises...
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access

References

  1. Adkins JF, McIntyre K, Schrag DP (2002) The salinity, temperature, and delta 18O of the glacial deep ocean. Science 298(5599):1769–1773CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Blättler CL, Higgins JA (2014) Calcium isotopes in evaporites record variations in Phanerozoic seawater SO4 and Ca. Geology 42:711–714CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Corliss JB, Dymond J, Gordon LI, Edmond JM, Von Herzen RP, Ballard RD, Green K, Williams D, Bainbridge A, Crane K, Van Andel TH (1979) Submarine thermal springs on the Galapagos Rift. Science 203:1073–1083CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Deacon GER (1984) The Antarctic circumpolar ocean. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 180pGoogle Scholar
  5. Dickson AG (1990) Thermodynamics of the dissociation of boric acid in synthetic seawater from 273.15 to 318.5 K. Deep-Sea Res 37:755–766CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dittmar W (1884) Report on researches into the composition of ocean water, collected by H.M.S. Challenger. Chall Rep Phys Chem 1:1–251Google Scholar
  7. Gebbie G, Huybers P (2012) The mean age of ocean waters inferred from radiocarbon observations: sensitivity to surface sources and accounting for mixing histories. J Phys Oceanogr 42:291–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hopkins TS (1991) The GIN sea – a synthesis of its physical oceanography and literature review 1972–1985. Earth Sci Rev 30(3–4):175–318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hsu KJ (1983) “A voyage of the Glomar challenger”. The Mediterranean was a desert. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  10. IOC (2010) The international thermodynamic equation of seawater – 2010: calculation and use of thermodynamic properties. Intergovernmental oceanographic commission, manuals and guides no. 56, UNESCO (English), 196 p. Free download at: http://www.teos-10.org/pubs/TEOS-10_Manual.pdf
  11. Khatiwala S, Primeau F, Holzer M (2012) Ventilation of the deep ocean constrained with tracer observations and implications for radiocarbon estimates of ideal mean age. Earth Planet Sci Lett 325–326:116–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Mackenzie FT, Garrels RM (1966) Chemical mass balance between rivers and oceans. Am J Sci 264:507–525CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Martin JM, Meybeck M (1979) Elemental mass-balance of material carried by major world rivers. Mar Chem 7:173–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Matsumoto K (2007) Radiocarbon-based circulation age of the world oceans. J Geophys Res 112:C09004.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2007JC004095 Google Scholar
  15. Michalopoulos M, Aller RC (1995) Rapid clay mineral formation in Amazon delta sediments: reverse weathering and oceanic elemental cycles. Science 270:614–617CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Murray JW (1992) The oceans. In: Butcher SS, Charlson RJ, Orians GH, Wolfe GU (eds) Global biogeochemical cycles. Academic, London, pp 175–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Quinby-Hunt MS, Turekian KK (1983) Distribution of elements in sea water. Eos Trans AGU 64:130–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Riley JP (1965) Historical Introduction. Chapter 1 in: Riley JP, Skirrow G (ed) Chemical Oceanography, Academic Press, London and New York, vol. 1st edn. pp 1–41.Google Scholar
  19. Roveri M, Flecker R, Krijgsman W, Lofi J, Lugli S, Manzi V, Sierro FJ, Bertini A, Camerlenghi A, De Lange G, Govers R, Hilgen FJ, Hübscher C, Meijer PT, Stoica M (2014) The Messinian salinity crisis: past and future of a great challenge for marine sciences. Mar Geol 352:25–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ryan WBF (2008) Modeling the magnitude and timing of evaporative drawdown during the Messinian salinity crisis. Stratigraphy 5(3–4):227–243Google Scholar
  21. Sarmiento JL, Gruber N (2006) Ocean biogeochemical dynamics. Princeton University Press, Princeton, xii + 503pGoogle Scholar
  22. Schmitz, WJ Jr (1996) On the world ocean circulation, vol. I. Technical Report WHOI-96-03; page 106 of 148pGoogle Scholar
  23. Seidov D, Baranova OK, Biddle M, Boyer TP, Johnson DR, Mishonov AV, Paver C, Zweng MM (2013) Greenland-Iceland-Norwegian seas regional climatology. Regional Climatology Team, NOAA/NODC.  https://doi.org/10.7289/V5GT5K30. See also: https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/regional_climate/gin-seas-climate/
  24. Seidov D, Antonov JI, Arzayus KM, Baranova OK, Biddle M, Boyer TP, Johnson DR, Mishonov AV, Paver C, Zweng MM (2014) Oceanography north of 600N from world ocean database. Prog Oceanogr.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2014.02.003
  25. Van Aken H (2007) The oceanic thermohaline circulation: an introduction. Springer, New York, XVIII + 326pGoogle Scholar
  26. Wilson TRS (1975) Salinity and the major elements of seawater. Chapter 6 In: Riley JP, Skirrow G (ed) Chemical oceanography, Academic Press, London, New York, San Francisco, vol. 1, 2nd edn. pp 365–413Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hein J. W. de Baar
    • 1
  • Steven M. A. C. van Heuven
    • 1
  • Rob Middag
    • 1
  1. 1.NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Department of Ocean Systems (OCS), and Utrecht UniversityDen BurgThe Netherlands