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50 votes
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Why is NaCl so hyper abundant in the ocean?

Fluoride salts tend to be not particularly soluble in water. Chloride salts are. The same goes for salts containing sodium versus those containing calcium. Sodium chloride is ridiculously easy to ...
David Hammen's user avatar
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46 votes

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

There are two ways this problem needs to be looked at. The first is more astronomy than Earth science. The Earth as an entire system is largely contained. Its gravity and magnetic field retains ...
userLTK's user avatar
  • 5,857
44 votes

Why is NaCl so hyper abundant in the ocean?

Solubility. The question is quite chemical, in fact. Solubility works somewhat counter-intuitively: if two ions that are not soluble together are present in the solution, they find each other and form ...
fraxinus's user avatar
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43 votes
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How does global-warming-triggered ice melting cause global sea levels to rise?

Arctic ice, around the north pole floats on top of water. When it melts it does not add to sea level rises and likewise for other ice on water, as illustrated in this video and this video. Ice on land ...
Fred's user avatar
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39 votes

Why are the Great Lakes not considered a sea?

"Sea" versus "lake" versus "just part of the ocean" is a bit fuzzy, but there are two things that are universal about seas: They are saline. They are either endorheic or have a sea-level (tidally-...
Mark's user avatar
  • 1,261
39 votes

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

When dissolved in water, salt breaks up into sodium and chlorine ions, which combine with water molecules so they cannot easily sink. However, there is a tendency for streams of fresh water to float ...
Michael Walsby's user avatar
34 votes

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

What does it take to reduce the salinity? The salinity of sea water is around 35 g/kg. There are around 1,350,000,000 km³ of water, so roughly 1.3x1021 kg of seawater (1 kg/l, which is a bit off for ...
Arsenal's user avatar
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33 votes
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Why is the sea salinity high in the Mediterannean and Red Sea and low in Indonesia and Malaysia?

It has nothing (or very, very little) to do with desalinization plants. It has to do with the balance between Evaporation minus Precipitation (E-P), rivers, and advection. The link to E-P is the main ...
arkaia's user avatar
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31 votes

What are these undersea lines all around Hawaii?

Short answer: The lines radiating from the island are artifacts from a mapping process that superimposes high-resolution sonar data from standard ship tracks on top of r low- or average sonar data ...
jeffronicus's user avatar
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30 votes
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Where do rivers like the Rio de la Plata end and the ocean begin?

In the case of Río de la Plata, part of it is history and politics, and part of it is oceanography. Most of Argentina and Uruguay considers Río de la Plata as a river (thus, the name, río) and as ...
arkaia's user avatar
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30 votes

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

Why does the salt in the oceans not sink to the bottom? Because there isn't any "salt", per se, in the ocean. Salt, as the compound sodium chloride (NaCl) does not exist as a solid in the ocean. It ...
Gimelist's user avatar
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25 votes

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

Why doesn't 71% water of the earth dry or evaporate? The simple answer: Because it rains. The not so simple answer: By some estimates, the Earth has already lost about a quarter of its water, and it ...
David Hammen's user avatar
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25 votes
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Why doesn't sea level show seasonality?

Sea level has a strong seasonal signal. The annual variability is less than the daily changes associated with tidal forcing in most locations, but still can be on the order of 5-10 cm (maximum values ...
arkaia's user avatar
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23 votes
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Why are there waves in seas towards shore - even in night?

Ocean waves (and also in mediterranean type seas and larger lakes, but on a smaller scale) are generated by two processes: locally generated waves ("wind waves"), which follow the direction of the ...
Ingvar Lukas's user avatar
22 votes
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Is there a geological explanation for the recent Mammoth tusk discovery 185 miles off the California coast?

The mammoth probably died on land. Its remains got picked up by a glacier. The glacier carried the tusk down to the sea. Eventually, the ice containing the tusk broke off as an iceberg. The iceberg ...
Spencer's user avatar
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21 votes
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Would hurricanes on an ocean planet continue indefinitely?

No. As it is, many hurricanes never make landfall. In an oceanic world I could see three fates happening: Hurricanes that dissipate due to dynamical features or climatological features. By dynamical ...
BarocliniCplusplus's user avatar
19 votes

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

The residue dry powder you refer to is salt. Salt is toxic to most plants. The United Nations claims the world is already losing 2000 hectares per day of farm land to salt-induced degradation. This is ...
Fred's user avatar
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18 votes
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Great Pacific Garbage Patch Equilibrium Points

Yes, you're right, there should be (at least one) saddle point in the middle of the loop. And indeed, if you search for illustrations of Pacific ocean circulation, you can see the saddle point in ...
Ilmari Karonen's user avatar
18 votes

Great Pacific Garbage Patch Equilibrium Points

Theoretically, I agree that there should be one instable equilibrium point between the two stable equilibrium points when we have a 2D current field. However, there are some additional components of ...
daniel.heydebreck's user avatar
18 votes

How much does sea level rise due to sediment deposition?

In a 1983 Journal of Geology paper by Milliman and Meade, "World-Wide Delivery of River Sediment to the Oceans" (link) it is estimated that the world's rivers carry about $13.5\times 10^9$ tonnes of ...
Floris's user avatar
  • 1,384
18 votes
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Are there seamounts as close as 100 m to the water surface and not inside any Exclusive Economic Zone?

Yes, there are many. According to the seafloor topographic data of ETOPO (1 arc second resolution), and the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) database of marineregions.org. There are at least 157 ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
  • 17.7k
15 votes

Would hurricanes on an ocean planet continue indefinitely?

What is possible in a low-friction world is illustrated by the Great Red Spot on Jupiter, an anticyclonic storm that has has been continuously observed that fluid planet's surface at least since 1878 (...
Oscar Lanzi's user avatar
  • 3,926
14 votes

How does global-warming-triggered ice melting cause global sea levels to rise?

Because a lot of that ice is currently sitting on land. When it melts, it will go into the ocean. From the National Snow and Ice Data Center Page (NSIDC), Facts about glaciers: Presently, 10 percent ...
LShaver's user avatar
  • 1,410
13 votes
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Regarding compression, shuffle filter of netcdf4

I made some pictures on my tablet to explain everything a bit better. Sorry that they are not that nice. Shuffle If we do not us shuffle, we store on value (float, double, integer, short integer, ......
daniel.heydebreck's user avatar
13 votes

Are there seamounts as close as 100 m to the water surface and not inside any Exclusive Economic Zone?

Checking the Wikipedia page on underwater volcanoes and listing them by height, I think the best candidate is Vema Seamount. Vema Seamount is in international waters and its shallowest point is at 11 ...
arkaia's user avatar
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13 votes
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How authentic was the movie scene in "The day after tomorrow" related to the understanding of the north Atlantic current system?

I'm not sure how much I can comment about it, but here we go (that's a joke... maybe). Is it realistic in the collapse of the current system? Well kind of, but not in the timespan that is suggested. ...
BarocliniCplusplus's user avatar
13 votes

How plausible is it that "a portion of the ocean's floor" could suddenly be "thrown up to the surface" as described in this Lovecraft story?

Generally the Earth's geology moves very slowly, ... very slowly. When people use the term geological time scales they mean a very long period of time, usually in the millions of years. In volcanic ...
Fred's user avatar
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13 votes
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Does the 0m elevation height of a Digital Elevation Model (Copernicus DEM) correspond to mean sea level?

From the website you linked: Coordinate Reference System: Horizontal WGS84-G1150 (EPSG 4326) (DGED & DTED format), (EPSG 3035) for continental Europe and UTM , (EPSG 32740, 32622, 32738, 32620) ...
arkaia's user avatar
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12 votes
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What is that drain east of newfoundland

It is an artifact of the processing software when it processes Multibeam Bathymetric Survey data. You can get the lines of the different surveys from NGBC at NOAA (https://maps.ngdc.noaa.gov/viewers/...
arkaia's user avatar
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12 votes
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What is Boomy McBoomFace?

The boom* is a cleanup prototype. From the OceanCleanup website: The Ocean Cleanup deployed a 100 meter-long barrier segment in the North Sea, 23 km off the coast of The Netherlands on the 22nd of ...
Jan Doggen's user avatar
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