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Questions tagged [water]

For questions relating to the liquid phase of water (H₂O), specifically its structure, properties, and uses in meteorology and Earth Science.

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50 votes
14 answers
48k views

Why is the pond in my backyard not frozen when it is -15 °C (5 °F) outside?

I am in O'Fallon, Missouri and today it is -15 °C (5 °F) outside. I was taught water freezes at 0 °C (32 °F). I could understand if it was exactly 0 °C (32 °F) that the water might not be turning to ...
Seth Kitchen's user avatar
35 votes
3 answers
4k views

How would plate tectonics differ if Earth had no water?

Water plays a crucial role in plate tectonics by easing the brittle and ductile deformation of the Earth's lithosphere. Water lowers the Mohr-Coulomb for brittle fractures. During ductile deformation, ...
tobias47n9e's user avatar
  • 3,956
33 votes
11 answers
20k views

Why does the salt in the oceans not sink to the bottom?

This is something that just occurred to me. If heavier elements sink, then how can the entire ocean be salty? Shouldn't the 'salt', because of its density, all sink to the bottom of the ocean? In ...
user avatar
31 votes
5 answers
60k views

Is it possible for rivers to freeze completely and stop flowing?

Is it possible for rivers to freeze completely in the winter and stop flowing? Are there known examples of this? If yes, how large can these rivers be and where does the water go? There are several ...
Glacialis's user avatar
  • 682
29 votes
7 answers
46k views

Is a complete global flood physically possible on Earth?

Genesis 7:11-20 presents an account of an event which, in 40 days, submerges the entire surface of the earth: [On] the seventeenth day of the second month — on that day all the springs of the great ...
Graviton's user avatar
  • 501
26 votes
3 answers
10k views

Antarctic and arctic meltwater is "bad" because it's dark, but why is transparent liquid on white stuff so dark?

The Washington Post's Antarctic heat wave melted 20 percent of an island’s snow cover in days, caused melt ponds to proliferate includes the figure below of meltwater ponds on top of snow/ice. The ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 7,122
21 votes
4 answers
24k views

What would be the effect of bringing seawater pipes to the Sahara desert?

This is a childhood dream. What would happen if pipes were installed (similar in principle to the Great Man-Made River, but for seawater) to continuously pump seawater into the Sahara desert. Let'...
ZakC's user avatar
  • 311
20 votes
7 answers
20k views

Why doesn't the 71% water of the earth dry or evaporate?

Perhaps a simple question, we know 71% of the earth's surface contains water as oceans. If Earth's age is 4.543 billion years, then I guess it should be decreased with drying or should have been dried ...
Harry's user avatar
  • 309
20 votes
4 answers
24k views

Lanes of flat ocean surface in coastal waters

When the ocean is still, i.e. there aren't waves that disturb the surface, you often see "lanes" of water that seem flat as opposed to areas where the wind causes ripples. What causes this?
user8389's user avatar
  • 203
20 votes
1 answer
2k views

What fraction of dry land is below sea level?

Someone just asked me if it would be practical to counter the rise of sea level by pumping water into storage on land. It struck me that if there is enough land below sea level, this would require ...
mwengler's user avatar
  • 303
18 votes
2 answers
10k views

What does it mean for waves to "feel" the bottom?

While typically waves are said to "feel" the bottom when the depth of the water is less than half the wavelength, what does it mean for the waves to "feel"? Furthermore, why does this happen at the ...
zergsomg's user avatar
  • 183
18 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is this ice cover real - and what circumstances are required to make it?

The title says it all... I assume it requires very slow freezing sheltered from the wind. Undercooled water, maybe? A Reddit thread talks about Delaunay triangulation, but that does not explain how ...
Jan Doggen's user avatar
  • 2,679
16 votes
3 answers
17k views

How much water is the atmosphere losing to space?

Up until recently, I was under a (wrong) impression that the amount of planetary cumulative water resources was finite as I believed its escape from the atmosphere was impossible. I believed that, ...
amphibient's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
17k views

Water veins underground causing health problems

It seems to be given that around my country everybody believes in water veins (that's the best that Google Translate could come up with. Basically underground water currents) that somehow affect ...
Reinis's user avatar
  • 153
15 votes
3 answers
11k views

Would oceans regenerate if removed?

On Earth, there is enough Hydrogen and Oxygen to make 13,88 million km$^3$ of water (calculation below). However, oceans contain only a tenth of that. Clearly, most of the hydrogen must be stored in ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
  • 17.7k
14 votes
2 answers
705 views

Where does the water from rain in rain forests come from?

When discussing a hypothetical world without oceans and just forest it occured to me that I wasn't so sure there would be any rain in the first place, due to the lack of oceans. Searching on Google ...
David Mulder's user avatar
13 votes
3 answers
4k views

How is it possible to use up the water in a region?

The Dead Sea, rivers in California and the Aral Sea are said to be shrinking due to water usage, e.g. for agriculture. Yet the water must go somewhere. After the fields are irrigated, the water ...
Joshua Fox's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
607 views

Water on Mars and Earth

If water on Earth came from meteorites, why doesn't Mars have substantial water? What made it more highly probable on Earth than on Mars?
Porcupine's user avatar
  • 647
12 votes
1 answer
474 views

How different is the proportion of heavy water ($\ce{^2H2O}$) in the different oceans?

The average proportion of naturally occurring semi-heavy water or deuterated water, $\ce{^2HHO}$ or $\ce{HDO}$, is about 1 molecule in 3200. The proportion comes from the fact that one hydrogen in ...
arkaia's user avatar
  • 15.5k
12 votes
0 answers
148 views

Using sodium chloride load as a point source pollutant variable in SWAT model?

I'm currently working with the Soil & Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). My task is to model the loading of sodium chloride into streams. One approach I would like to take is to use the point ...
ITM's user avatar
  • 171
11 votes
7 answers
5k views

While desalinating ocean water, would it be bad if we didn't pump the brine back into the ocean?

Desalinating ocean water takes seawater, separates the fresh water from the brine, and usually pumps the brine back into the ocean. But what if we didn't pump the brine back into the ocean? (For ...
snips-n-snails's user avatar
11 votes
7 answers
8k views

If water is a renewable resource, why is there water scarcity?

Water is a renewable resource, renewed by the water cycle. If we use water too quickly, water should get evaporated and come down again as precipitation. So, Why is there water scarcity if water ...
Ram Keswani's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why are these U-shaped bodies of water frequent near Kura river?

I was looking at the Kura river in Google Maps satellite mode and I saw these U-shaped bodies of water: There are other U-shaped bodies of water too: 40.615881° N, 47.205031° E 40.101139° N, 47....
Snack Exchange's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
200 views

What ice phenomenon are we seeing in this video?

I don't know what this YouTube video shows, but it appears to be half glacier and half "the blob." It almost appears to be "growing" although I assume it's being pushed somehow. Can someone tell me ...
user1833028's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

Was the filling of the Three Gorges Dam's impact on the Earth's rotation rate detectable?

I'm a big fan of Vsauce and the video How Earth Moves is just one example of science related to the Earth available there (there's plenty more). But the statement in this video starting at ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 7,122
11 votes
1 answer
10k views

What is the temperature of the flowing water in icy river?

Boundaries of the question: The question is about rivers where water flows in cold area of the earth. Whether it's because of the winter or it's simply cold all year long. Usually, the top layer of ...
AXMIM's user avatar
  • 213
11 votes
2 answers
331 views

Waves on sandy beach separating differently-sized rocks?

I recently went to a beach, and I noticed that the sand seemed to have a few distinct regions. I'm wondering what would cause this, and how it works. One region is the part of the beach which is ...
Ben Sandeen's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Will the oceans swallow all of the land?

I am wondering why, since the oceans could feasibly hold all of the dry land, they in fact do not. For example, the Mariana Trench drops to -10.9km, while Mount Everest only reaches to +8.8km. ...
Him's user avatar
  • 203
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

How much land does it take to support New York City?

New York City has about 8.5 million people living in an area of 300 square miles which gives a population density of 28,300 people per square mile. The food required to support such a high population ...
Chris Mueller's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
201 views

Sudden Localized Surface Water Temperature Increase In Eastern Lake Superior, Canada

As can be seen in the below sequence of NOAA images spanning 15 hours (most recent at top), in extreme eastern Lake Superior the surface water (but not bottom water) temperature increased dramatically ...
DavePhD's user avatar
  • 5,962
10 votes
1 answer
2k views

How does evapotranspiration affect rainfall?

Evapotranspiration is when a plant evaporates water off the surface of its leaves in order to move water throughout its system with cohesive and adheisiveforces. My question is how will a sudden ...
Paul Lemus's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
10k views

Lake Manasarovar v.s. Lake Rakshastal: fresh-water v.s. salt-water

In Tibetan Plateau, about 4600m elevation, If Lake Manasarovar and Lake Rakshastal ("lake of the demon" ) used to be the same lake, but due to the tectonic activity now they are separated to two by ...
wonderich's user avatar
  • 201
9 votes
6 answers
5k views

How can we have groundwater depletion when the Earth is 78% covered with oceans?

Why does depletion of underground water levels happening, if the Earth is covered by nearly 78% water, and there is also water in rivers and lakes? How can we still lack groundwater?
user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
229 views

In -20 °C weather, creeks below waterfalls here form ice columns. What are these called? Ice-canoes?

I would like to know the name(s) of this ice formation. How common or rare is it? What other regions of the world does this occur in? What specific requirements are needed to produce it and could it ...
Doug Wedel's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
523 views

Is it possible for tsunamis to occur on deep water planets?

Assume a water planet with an ocean depth of about 200-500 km. Would a very strong ground-quake happening at the very bottom of the planet's ocean floor be able to cause a large tsunami to rise up to ...
ZanMoon-chan's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
140 views

Where to find reliable water temperature?

I need data regarding water temperature of Mediterranean Sea according to changes in depth. I couldn't find these data in the Copernicus Marine website, so I'd like to know if you know of any database ...
Mirko's user avatar
  • 183
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

How old is Earth's groundwater?

In my house, we drink the groundwater that we get from our well. It is 40 meters deep. The question is, how old is the water that we drink today? Is it from the rain 100 years ago? Another issue is, ...
John's user avatar
  • 231
8 votes
1 answer
202 views

Is water actually blue or is it transparent?

This is my first post on StackExchange and I would like to ask a question: Is water actually blue or is that just the reflection of the sky?
user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
267 views

Aren't fresh water deposits renewed by the water cycle?

I have recently watched the documentary "How Many People Can Live on Planet Earth?" with David Attenborough. In it, the main factors that will limit total human population Earth can support ...
user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
188 views

How much water does a wave transport into a sea cave?

How much water is transported (volume) as a wave travels into a sea cave? The wave has a height of 1 m and a period of 12 seconds. The average water depth at the cave mouth it 5 m and the width is 15 ...
surfer's user avatar
  • 81
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why is my pond / lake melting when the temperature is still far below freezing?

I recently moved into a new house with a 2 acre lake behind it. We’ve had 15 consecutive days below freezing, and the last 12 of those have been below 20 degrees (Fahrenheit)! Six days ago I shoveled ...
Geo's user avatar
  • 81
8 votes
2 answers
423 views

Does Earth risk losing its oceans to space due to global warming?

I read that we are facing the very real possibility of Earth's average temperature rising by more that 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. As I understand our planet is constantly loosing ...
Denis Kulagin's user avatar
8 votes
0 answers
54 views

How do you determine the % of precipitation falling as snow in the case below?

I have just started a course in hydrology (a totally different field from mine which is computer science) and I can't find the link between the fact that a river flows into a lake and the % of ...
narutoArea51's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
3k views

How would the Earth look without water in the oceans?

Has there ever been a movie, a documentary, or an image that provides a visualization of the oceans without water? I'm writing an article on geology and I thought a visual representation would be of ...
user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
801 views

Why should there not be water deep (e.g. below 6 kms) in the Earth's crust?

In 1970, the USSR began drilling at the Kola Super-deep Borehole. The target depth was 15,000 meters; The stated areas of study were the deep structure of the Baltic Shield, seismic discontinuities ...
Conrado's user avatar
  • 173
7 votes
2 answers
7k views

What is (negative) wind stress curl?

I'm currently doing research for a paper in school where we need to research on a university-like level. When I read the paper Causes and impacts of the 2014 warm anomaly in the NE Pacific, I found ...
Oliver Borchert's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
117 views

Is salt accumulating over time?

The rainfall leaches salts (Mg,Na,Ca,K,.., Cl) from weathering rocks, where those ions were freed from chemical bonds by sunlight, acidic water etc. The runoff eventually goes into the oceans, where ...
bukwyrm's user avatar
  • 171
7 votes
1 answer
155 views

Tidal flow in an estuary

I am working on a project. Where this bacteria has been deposited at a port in the Humber Estuary. Where it has been deposited has been marked in red. I am trying to work out the limits of where this ...
00100's user avatar
  • 73
7 votes
0 answers
142 views

How does fog affect the conductivity/breakdown voltage of air?

Could the breakdown voltage of air significantly go down in very foggy weather (especially very salty fog from seawater)? Kind of a hypothetical question, but if anyone has something on this, I'd ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 233
6 votes
2 answers
3k views

What keeps water from sinking into earth?

I remember reading somewhere that there's evidence of water on Mars but it all sank into the Martian soil. So what prevents that happening on earth? Some people say it's because the crust is not ...
seilgu's user avatar
  • 161