The thickness of seawater dram a an important role in resulting in ocean currents and also circulating heat due to the fact that of the reality that thick water sinks listed below less dense. Salinity, temperature and also depth all influence the density of seawater.

You are watching: What two factors affect the density of ocean water

Density is a measure up of exactly how tightly a details amount of matter is packed into a provided volume. The an ext the ingredient is pack in, the higher the density. Density can it is in calculated by dividing an object’s mass by that volume. It is frequently measured in grams per millilitre or grams per cubic centimetre.

For example, basalt is a an extremely dense rock v an average mass of approximately 3 g/cm3 but it is still not as thick as elemental iron, with a mass of almost 8 g/cm3.


Seawater is not just water – it has lots of chemicals packed into it. This way it is denser than pure water. The higher the salinity, the higher the density.

Variation in density

Seawater density varies from place to place due to the fact that it is affected by salinity and also temperature. This means that pearls float greater or reduced in the water, depending on the thickness of the ocean. If friend look close to the waterline the a cargo ship, girlfriend should find the international Load Line, once referred to as the Plimsoll Line. This reflects the border of where the totally loaded ship must sit in waters of different densities.


High salinity provides water denser. This is since there is an ext salt packed into the water.

High temperature makes water less dense. Together water gets warmer, its molecules spread out out, so the becomes less dense. Together it it s okay colder, it becomes denser. Most chemicals gain denser when they revolve from a fluid to a solid, but water is different. Once liquid water freezes right into solid ice, the becomes much less dense. When ice forms, water molecule arrange themselves into a rigid however open pattern. This framework is less dense than the liquid water, so ice cream floats.

Deep water is denser than shallow water. The water molecules are packed together an ext tightly because of the weight of water above pushing down.


Dense water sinks below less dense water. This is the principle that drives the deep ocean currents the circulate approximately the world. A mix of high salinity and low temperature close to the surface provides seawater thick enough to sink right into the deep ocean and also flow along the bottom of the basins. Find out an ext in this short article Ocean motion.

In this activity, students are presented to the principle of density. They calculation the volume the various products to determine and then rank your densities.

See more: How Many Electrons In The 4Th Shell Hold Gcse? How Many Electrons Can Each Shell Hold Gcse


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