How much salt is in the ocean?

salt-773845The amount of salt in the ocean, known as ‘salinity’, is a measure of the of the amount of salt dissolved in 1000 grams of water. The amount is expressed as parts per thousands (ppt).

Refractometers are a tool used to measure the amount of salinity in the ocean. The salinity in the ocean is approximately 32 to 35 ppt. Freshwater has a salinity of zero. The estuaries fluctuate their salinity level depending upon the tides. But, it’s always below the open ocean. The poles have a lower salinity because the cold water does not evaporate as fast.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    thats a lot of salt

  2. Anonymous says:

    about 9,799 tons of salt

  3. about 9,799 tons of salt

  4. wowwww thats a lot!!!!

  5. Salt is a means to life. Thanks for the information! I linked you from my blog:

  6. Anonymous says:

    how do i know your right you ould be wrong!

  7. Anonymous says:

    15,400,000 tons with a ton equalling 2000lbs

  8. think about the ocean…it has to be over a million

  9. You pose the question but don’t really seem to answer it. The other estimates are wrong as well. The amount of salt in the ocean is in the vicinity of 43,000 million million tonnes. Expressed in another way 4.3 * 10^16 tonnes. Give or take a pinch.

  10. Yes, it’s pretty tough to get an accurate number. Here is a post about the current research.

  11. there is about 2000lbs of salt in the ocean

  12. Anonymous says:

    This could help me on my science project.

  13. So, predictably you will not for sure know but, my advice is use the one that is the closet date. There are so mnay diffrent answers out there.

  14. Anonymous says:

    this didnt help!

  15. There are approximately 4.8*10^19 kilograms of salt in the global oceans (this includes marginal seas), which is almost exactly 10^20 pounds of salt. This is 4.8*10^16 metric tons. I based this on the EN3 climatology, the TEOS-2010 equation of state and a recent estimate of the volume of the oceans in Oceanography magazine (see below).

    So the only one who got this right was morrie2 (given that it wasn’t stated in that post if marginal seas were included)

    It’s simply mean salinity * (mean density / 1000) * volume of the ocean, where all the means are volume-weighted. Units for this calculation are (g/kg) * kg/m^3 * m^3 = kg. I put the g/kg in parentheses as salinity is generally unit-less.


    • Beach Chair Scientist says:

      Thank you for your comment! I hope you don’t mind that I took a simplified perspective approach to the question :-) This comment is perfect for those looking for more information!

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