Thermohaline Circulation and Ocean Salinity Made Simple YouTube Lecture Handouts Geography

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Thermohaline Circulation & Ocean Salinity Made Simple - in 20 Minutes
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

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

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