The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: How much salt have we taken from the sea?  (Read 4271 times)

paul.fr

  • Guest
How much salt have we taken from the sea?
« on: 12/01/2008 16:32:18 »
How much have we taken, how much is left and is it likely that we will "run out" of salt?


 

Offline Bass

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1340
  • Thanked: 5 times
    • View Profile
How much salt have we taken from the sea?
« Reply #1 on: 12/01/2008 18:09:14 »
Don't know how much has been taken, but we're unlikely to run out.  New salts are constantly being added to the oceans (from erosion of landmasses).  How much salt is left- you could take the average salt concentration of the oceans and multiply by the oceans' overall volume to get a ball-park figure.
 

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8661
  • Thanked: 42 times
    • View Profile
How much salt have we taken from the sea?
« Reply #2 on: 12/01/2008 19:46:06 »
The salt we put on the roads and our dinners ends up back in the ocean anyway.
 

another_someone

  • Guest
How much salt have we taken from the sea?
« Reply #3 on: 12/01/2008 22:18:21 »
The salt we put on the roads and our dinners ends up back in the ocean anyway.

Unfortunately, some of the salt we put on the roads just ends up in the aquifers, which may not matter to the loss of the oceans, but may matter to our drinking water supplies.

Again, probably not too much of a problem in the UK, but is more worrying in some more arid climes, where fresh water supplies are scarcer.
 

Offline JimBob

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6564
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Moderator
    • View Profile
How much salt have we taken from the sea?
« Reply #4 on: 13/01/2008 03:26:24 »
Not really. Dissolved salts from human use are negligible in aquifers. It take a LOT of salt to change the concentration in a huge solution with millions of gallons of water. That is a small aquifer.
 

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8661
  • Thanked: 42 times
    • View Profile
How much salt have we taken from the sea?
« Reply #5 on: 13/01/2008 17:13:18 »
A significant part of the UK population lives in ana area with a per-capita rainfall less than Oman. Screwing up the aquifers can be a problem for us too.
http://www.seeda.co.uk/RES/docs/REGIONAL-ECONOMIC-STRATEGY-2006.pdf
 

Offline JimBob

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6564
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Moderator
    • View Profile
How much salt have we taken from the sea?
« Reply #6 on: 13/01/2008 20:52:13 »
How fast is the aquifer recharge? If there are a LOT of wells for a lot of people in a very small area then, yes, there can be a problem. It isn't the recharge, it is the migration of the dissolved solids that are trapped in the deeper part of the aquifer to the more shallow part of the aquifer. The dissolved solid problems are not from the addition of new salts but the releasing of the solids from the deeper part to the more shallow part of the aquifer due to aquifer draw-down.

We have this problem in the area around San Antonio, Texas. The Edwards Limestone, a huge aquifer, is used too much so the salt from depth is drawen into the water wells used for the drinking water. The Downs, being mainly karsted limestones as is the Edwards where I live, is probably in the same shape.
 
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

How much salt have we taken from the sea?
« Reply #6 on: 13/01/2008 20:52:13 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums