Write a brief summary of the results of your salinity-density and temperature -density experiments, then proceed to the questions below

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Deep-Ocean Circulation Lab Activity

In this activity, you will experiment with the salinity and temperature of water to observe the effect they have on water density

Part A: Introduction

Before completing the lab, please read over Chapter 15 of the textbook.

Ocean circulation has two primary components: surface ocean currents and deep-ocean circulation. While surface currents such as the famous Gulf Stream are driven primarily by the prevailing winds, deep-ocean circulation is largely the result of differences in ocean water density (the ratio of mass to volume). A density current is the movement of one body of water over, under or through another caused by density differences and gravity. High-density seawater sinks below low-density seawater.

The most important factors in creating these density differences are variations in salinity and temperature. High-salinity water is more dense than lower-salinity water. Cold water is more dense than warm water.

Salinity is the amount of dissolved solid material in water, expressed as parts per thousand parts of water. The symbol for parts per thousand is 0/00. Although there are many dissolved salts in seawater, sodium chloride (table salt) is the most abundant.

The main control of the salinity of seawater is the removal or addition of fresh water. When water is removed, such as by evaporation or freezing, any dissolved salts are left behind and the salinity of the remaining water is increased. Alternatively, when fresh water is added to seawater, the seawater is diluted and salinity is lowered. So:
• In regions where evaporation is high (very hot or dry areas) or where seawater freezes (at high latitudes), fresh water is removed, particularly near the surface of the ocean, and salinity is increased.
• In areas of high precipitation or influx of fresh water (such as near the mouth of a river), the additional fresh water dilutes seawater and lowers the salinity.

The factors that determine the concentration of salts in seawater are not constant from the equator to the poles, or with depth in the ocean, so the salinity of seawater also varies with latitude and depth.

Temperature is the most extensively determined variable of the oceans because it is easily measured and has an important influence on marine life. Like salinity, ocean water temperatures vary from the equator to poles and also changes with depth. Temperature, like salinity, also affects the density of seawater. Lower temperatures result in higher densities. The density of seawater is more sensitive to temperature fluctuations than salinity.

Part B: Salinity and Temperature Experiments

Lab Materials:
Clear glass drinking cup, small container such as a shot glass, measuring spoons, blue food coloring, salt, spoon to stir, typing paper.

Salinity Experiment
1. Begin by gathering the materials listed above.
2. Fill the glass to within 1 cm of the top with cold tap water. In the shot glass, combine ¼ teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of cold water and one drop of food coloring and stir.
3. Slowly pour the contents of the shot glass down the side of the glass containing cold water and observe what happens to the salt water as it is introduced to pure water. It may help to hold a piece of white paper behind the glass to make observations.
4. Clean all materials and run the experiment a second time.

Temperature Experiment
1. Fill the glass to within 1 cm from the top with cold tap water (you may even want to put in some ice to drop the temperature; if you do, remove the ice before running the experiment).
2. In the shot glass combine 1 tablespoon of HOT tap water with 1 drop of food coloring and stir.
3. Carefully pour the contents of the shot glass down the side of the glass containing cold water slowly and observe what happens when hot water is introduced to cold water.
4. Clean all materials and run the experiment a second time.

Write a brief summary of the results of your salinity-density and temperature -density experiments, then proceed to the questions below

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