Random Question

In a book I was reading earlier this week, I came across a section where there was a description of how the water in a small stream came to be there. The author described the water coming down from the mountains, entering this stream which entered a lake and then flowed out of the lake into a bigger river and so on and so forth until it emptied into the sea where it evaporated and started the cycle again.

That got me to wondering about fresh water joining salt water in the sea. When does it lose the saltiness in the evaporation process?

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3 Responses to Random Question

  1. CAG says:

    As I understand things salt water (saline) is a suspension. The top layer or surface of a saltwater is always fresh (in varying degrees) so it is basically pure water that evaporates. Fresh water is lighter than saltwater and floats on it. In our fjords there is about a 6 foot layer of fresh water sitting over the seawater below it!

  2. ray says:

    Water is H2O. No matter how salinated (salty) or infused with other minerals (as tap water is), ultimately water is just H2O. When the sun heats the water, the H2O molecules become active and begin to move from liquid to gas (steam) form. Its the same thing as when you make soup and put a lid on the pot. The water from the soup evaporates and turns to steam (the lid captures the steam so when you lift the lid and flip it, the water on the lid moves). On earth, the atmosphere captures the steam, the water is invisible (but can be measured which is humidity in the air) until it gathers as a gas (in the form of a cloud). When the gas cools sufficiently, the water returns to liquid form and becomes rain. This is how the water cycle works. Everything, lakes, the ocean, the ground, people take in water and then later expel water (with people through perspiration, exhalation, or, um, other ways). This is why the atmosphere is so important. One of it’s jobs is to capture that water gas. Without it, we would be as dry and dead as the Moon or Mars.

  3. Susie says:

    The water evaporates. The salt doesn’t.

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