Why are the oceans salty when...

#1
...all the rivers flowing into them are freshwater?
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#2
Rivers are water from melted snow, which is not salty. While they flow, they erode and leech salt out of land, but flowing, it doesn't accumulate.
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#3
(May 11, 2019 01:05 AM)Syne Wrote: Rivers are water from melted snow, which is not salty. While they flow, they erode and leech salt out of land, but flowing, it doesn't accumulate.

If the rivers are carrying all the salt that makes the oceans salty, why aren't they salty? The salt would be dissolved, just like it is in seawater.
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#4
(May 11, 2019 02:06 AM)Magical Realist Wrote:
(May 11, 2019 01:05 AM)Syne Wrote: Rivers are water from melted snow, which is not salty. While they flow, they erode and leech salt out of land, but flowing, it doesn't accumulate.

If the rivers are carrying all the salt that makes the oceans salty, why aren't they salty? The salt would be dissolved, just like it is in seawater.

Damn, try reading a post, moron. Rolleyes
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#5
(May 11, 2019 02:34 AM)Syne Wrote:
(May 11, 2019 02:06 AM)Magical Realist Wrote:
(May 11, 2019 01:05 AM)Syne Wrote: Rivers are water from melted snow, which is not salty. While they flow, they erode and leech salt out of land, but flowing, it doesn't accumulate.

If the rivers are carrying all the salt that makes the oceans salty, why aren't they salty? The salt would be dissolved, just like it is in seawater.

Damn, try reading a post, moron. Rolleyes

The water would be salty whether it accumulated or not.
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#6
(May 11, 2019 02:51 AM)Magical Realist Wrote:
(May 11, 2019 02:34 AM)Syne Wrote:
(May 11, 2019 02:06 AM)Magical Realist Wrote:
(May 11, 2019 01:05 AM)Syne Wrote: Rivers are water from melted snow, which is not salty. While they flow, they erode and leech salt out of land, but flowing, it doesn't accumulate.

If the rivers are carrying all the salt that makes the oceans salty, why aren't they salty? The salt would be dissolved, just like it is in seawater.

Damn, try reading a post, moron. Rolleyes

The water would be salty whether it accumulated or not.

No, it wouldn't, simpleton.

Rivers would have to be transporting as much salt per volume as the ocean itself to be salty. If that were the case, we'd then expect the salinity of the ocean to be way higher.
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#7
(May 11, 2019 12:36 AM)Magical Realist Wrote: ...all the rivers flowing into them are freshwater?


They've always been saline to some extent. As far as ordinary table salt goes, submarine volcanism ejected applicable compounds into the primeval oceans. Salty crystals have also been found in meteorites, and presumably abides in the water of comets and asteroids.

Whether you go with the idea that much of the water of the Earth's oceans came from heavy space-object bombardment 3.9 billion years ago or leached from the rocky debris that formed the planet, and both -- those origin materials themselves would doubtless have contributed some salts or chemicals for combining into such.

When continents rose above the oceans, then the weathering of their geological features delivered minerals and faint degrees of salts to the huge bodies of water. Edmond Halley of comet fame may have been the first to document that some lakes were being fed the stuff over time from mountain and land runoff, with rivers and lesser water systems thus carrying it to the oceans.

Which prompted him to also propose that ocean salinity could be used to date the age of the Earth, via how fast the concentration of salts would have built up over time in the water. By the 20th-century the method was recognized as a failure not only due to radioactive dating, but because there was never zero salinity as a starting point and the oceans are not really a closed system preventing levels from being reduced. Cyclic intake and extraction of ingredients over geological periods permits an equilibrium.

But some research and estimates, blended with theory, suggest that the early oceans may have been twice as saline as today. That would have made it difficult for oxygen absorption and diffusion, when later in the game that chemical finally became abundant enough in the atmosphere to become a potential player.

Plate tectonics caused seabeds to rise and evaporate during erratic intervals leading up and into the edge of the Paleozoic Era, creating vast salt deposits, of which some remained to be buried on land masses while others subducted deep into the Earth. Which lowered salt concentrations, enabled more oxygen dissolving into the oceans, and perhaps not so coincidentally the Cambrian explosion of biological diversity took off.

Yet other accounts paint a much more complicated tapestry of oceanography explanations for how primeval oceans handled their salinity in terms of either having significantly reduced it or established equilibrium from the start well before the origins of certain helpful circumstances (including extensive continental shelves and their assorted effects).
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#8

In the beginning, the primeval seas were probably only slightly salty. But over time, as rain fell to the Earth and ran over the land, breaking up rocks and transporting their minerals to the ocean, the ocean has become saltier.

Rain replenishes freshwater in rivers and streams, so they don’t taste salty. However, the water in the ocean collects all of the salt and minerals from all of the rivers that flow into it.

It is estimated that the rivers and streams flowing from the United States alone discharge 225 million tons of dissolved solids and 513 million tons of suspended sediment annually to the ocean. Throughout the world, rivers carry an estimated four billion tons of dissolved salts to the ocean annually.

About the same tonnage of salt from ocean water probably is deposited as sediment on the ocean bottom and thus, yearly gains may offset yearly losses. In other words, the ocean today probably has a balanced salt input and output (and so the ocean is no longer getting saltier).
- https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/riversnotsalty.html

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#9
Good question, MR.

I have always wondered: why is the sea salty?

Quote:But rivers aren’t salty, right? Rivers are definitely not as salty as the sea, but they constantly carry their small salt content into the sea, and as a result the concentration of salt in the sea (which oceanographers call salinity) has built up over millions of years.

And like CC said, rivers aren’t the only source of sea salt.

Oh, and BTW, you’re not a moron or a simpleton.
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#10
(May 11, 2019 01:50 PM)Secular Sanity Wrote:
Quote:But rivers aren’t salty, right? Rivers are definitely not as salty as the sea, but they constantly carry their small salt content into the sea, and as a result the concentration of salt in the sea (which oceanographers call salinity) has built up over millions of years.

Oh, and BTW, you’re not a moron or a simpleton.

When he didn't understand essentially the same answer you just quoted, he is demonstrably impaired.
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