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What are the factors that determine the salinity of the ocean? How does salinity differ across the width and depth of the ocean?

Topic: Salient features of world’s physical geography.

2. What are the factors that determine the salinity of the ocean? How does salinity differ across the width and depth of the ocean? (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Insights on India

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 1 and mentioned as part of Mission-2023 Secure timetable.

Key Demand of the question:

To write about to factors which determine the salinity of the oceans and horizontal, vertical regional distributions of Salinity.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Explain what is ocean salinity.

Body:

First, write about the various factors that determine the salinity of the oceans – Evaporation, Freshwater flow influx, temperature, density, Ocean Currents, Precipitation, Atmospheric pressure and Wind direction. Give examples from across the world.

Next, write about the horizontal distributions of Salinity – salinity decreases from equator towards the poles, highest salinity is observed between 20° N and 40° N etc and the reasons for it.

Next, write about vertical distributions of Salinity – increases with increasing depth, draw a small diagram to show the same.

Conclusion:

Conclude by summarising the above.