Water Vs. Salt water

  • Thread starter flatmaster
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

oceanic water obviously has a higher salt concentration and is more dense than fresh water. What specific conditions keep these two from mixing? On discovery, I see underwater caves where salty and fresh waters don't mix. What's behind this? Should we integrate their schools?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Borek
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They mix, but slowly, as different densities help them keep separated and the only process that takes place - diffusion - is slow and occurs only on the boundary between fresh and salty water. They will mix much faster when stirred, as the surface between both waters becomes much larger.
 
  • #3
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How slowly is slowly?
 
  • #4
Borek
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Good question, one that I don't know answer to. It will depend on many factors - difference in salinity, thickness of the layers, temperature. Probably minutes to years depending on the circumstances.
 

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