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A measure of the dissolved solids in seawater.
Seawater salinity is the quantity that expresses the amount of dissolved minerals in seawater. In the open ocean, salinity varies between 34 and 38 parts per thousand (ppt), also called "per mil". Salinity can vary much more in the coastal zone near river mouths and in estuaries. Because salinity and temperature determine seawater density, the salinity of seawater is a vital quantity determining the overall rate of the ocean's thermohaline circulation system.


(1) Physical oceanography (3) Ocean circulation
(2) Ocean heat budget


Microwave (1.26, 1.41 GHz)

Platforms and Sensors

Platform Sensor
Aquarius ( launch September 2008) To be determined

Other sources for data

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Last updated: Oct 13, 2009 01:32 PM ET