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Convection and salinity: How does salinity affect the movement of water?Featured science projectScience project video

Discussion

How is density affected by salinity?

Questions & Answers

What causes liquids to rise to the surface?

As the temperature of the water increases, it becomes less dense. A lower density means the water becomes less heavy, so it moves toward the surface.

What causes liquids to sink to the bottom?

As the temperature of the water decreases, it becomes denser. A higher density means the water becomes heavier, so it sinks toward the bottom.

What determines the rate of this movement?

While temperature can affect the rate of movement, so does salinity. Ocean water has salt so it has a greater salinity than fresh water, which has little or no salt. The higher the water's salinity, the heavier is the water.

Make it Your Own

Try the science experiment with hot and cold water, instead of fresh and salt water.

References

? "What is Convection" at the Wise Geek website http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-convection.htm

? "What is density?" at the Whyzz web site http://whyzz.com/what-is-density

? "What is Salinity" at the Wise Geek website http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-salinity.htm

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    Complexity level:
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    This science fair project involves a heat source and water. Care should be taken when handling these.