The Atlantic Ocean

The Atlantic Ocean


On average, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest of all of Earth's major oceans.


share Share

On average, the Atlantic is the saltiest major ocean; surface water salinity in the open ocean ranges from 33 to 37 parts per thousand (3.3–3.7%) by mass and varies with latitude and season. Evaporation, precipitation, river inflow, and sea ice melting influence surface salinity values. Although the lowest salinity values are just north of the equator (because of heavy tropical rainfall), in general, the lowest values are in the high latitudes and along coasts where large rivers enter. Maximum salinity values occur at about 25° north and south, in subtropical regions with low rainfall and high evaporation.

The high surface salinity in the Atlantic, on which the Atlantic thermohaline circulation is dependent, is maintained by two processes: the Agulhas Leakage/Rings, which brings salty Indian Ocean waters into the South Atlantic, and the "Atmospheric Bridge", which evaporates subtropical Atlantic waters and exports it to the Pacific.


Oceans

Earth's oceans are so large and deep, humans have only explored 5% of them.

Read More
Earth's Visibility

The Earth, seen from the moon, also goes through phases.

Read More
Earth's Density

Earth is the densest planet in the Solar System.

Read More
Mount Tambora Eruption

In 1815, Mount Tambora in Indonesia erupted (believed to be the largest eruption of all time), creating a crater on its top 2,000 feet deep after it blew off 4,000 feet of the mountain.

Read More