What Is Ocean Water Made Of?

Many people would answer this question by saying water and salt. They would be only partially correct.

Pure water makes up 96.5 percent of ocean water. More sodium chloride, or common table salt, exists in ocean water than any other salt, but it is only one of many salts found there. Salts are a certain class of chemical compounds, or combinations, which generally form minerals.

The other 3.5 percent of ocean water is made of dissolved minerals, organic matter, dissolved gases, and floating particles. Matter that comes from plants and animals is called organic.

The most commonly found minerals come from combinations of the elements chlorine, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, and potassium. They include dissolved carbon, carbohydrates, proteins, acids, and vitamins.

Decaying plants and animals and fecal matter from living animals supply most of the organic matter.

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