# Homework Help: Mass of 3.2m of Ocean

1. Apr 5, 2014

### Smazmbazm

How would one work out the total mass for the top 3.2 meters of the ocean?

2. Apr 5, 2014

### Bandersnatch

You could easily approximate it by taking the total area of oceans and multiplying it by 3.2 metres and the denisty of salt water.
It will be an overestimate, though. You'd need to take into account the shape of continental shelfs for a more precise answer.

3. Apr 5, 2014

### flatmaster

So the location of the bottom changes that much over 3.2 meters of depth?

4. Apr 5, 2014

### Bandersnatch

I doubt it, acutally. It is an overestimate, all the same.

5. Apr 7, 2014

### quiconnait

more reasons for an overestimate

Given that the top 3.2 meters of seawater would be less dense than the lower sections (we do not have a perfect diffusion, after all), and that there are algae and such that float within the water and hence have less density, i would hypothesize that the esimate given previously would overestimate quite substantially, given the huge volume being approximated.

6. Apr 9, 2014

### snorkack

No, but we do have pretty good turbulent mixing.

7. Apr 9, 2014