Thermohaline Circulation And Ocean Salinity Made Simple YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Image of Water Everywhere

Image of Water Everywhere

Image of Water Everywhere

Thermohaline Circulation

  • Thermohaline circulation begins in the Earth's Polar Regions.

  • It is a part of the large-scale ocean circulation.

  • Driven by global density gradients created by surface heat and freshwater fluxes.

Thermohaline Circulation

Thermohaline Circulation

Thermohaline Circulation

Where Salt Comes From?


Concentration of salt in seawater or salinity is about 35 parts per thousand.


  • Practical Salinity Scale defines salinity as conductivity ratio of a sample to that of a solution of 32.4356 g of KCl at 15°C in a 1 kg solution.

  • Sample of seawater at 15°C with conductivity equal to this KCl solution has a salinity of exactly 35 practical salinity units (Psu).

Factors Affecting Salinity

  • Evaporation

  • Precipitation

  • River water and Melt water

  • Atmospheric Pressure

  • Wind Direction

  • Movement of Seawater

  • Location and Characteristics of Sea

Role of Sea Life

  • Lobsters concentrate copper and cobalt

  • Snails secrete lead

  • Sea cucumber extracts vanadium

  • Sponges and seaweeds remove iodine