Seawater, Composition of

SEAWATER IS A solution of salts of nearly constant composition, dissolved in variable amounts of water. It is denser than fresh water. It is risky to drink seawater because of its high salt content. More water is required to eliminate the salt through excretion than the amount of water that is gained from drinking the seawater. Seawater can be turned into potable water by desalination processes or by diluting it with freshwater. The origin of sea salt is traced to Sir Edmond Halley, who in 1715 proposed that salt and other minerals were carried into the sea by rivers, having been leached out of the ground by rainfall runoff. On reaching the ocean, these salts would be retained and concentrated as the process of evaporation ...

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