Thermohaline Circulation And Ocean Salinity Made Simple YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Thermohaline Circulation & Ocean Salinity Made Simple - in 20 Minutes

Image of Water Everywhere

Image of Water Everywhere

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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

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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