Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Salinity of Ocean Water

Figure from experiment 15 from Earth Science with Vernier


If you were to view the planet Earth from space, you would see that most of its surface is covered by water. Most of this is ocean water which cannot be consumed. Why can’t ocean water be consumed? The reason is that ocean water contains large amounts of salt, which make it undrinkable.

Salinity is a measurement of the saltiness or concentration of salt in water. Ocean water contains many different salts, but the most abundant is sodium chloride, also known as table salt. Sodium chloride makes up 86% of all the ions present in ocean water. Other salts that can be found in ocean water at significant levels are calcium chloride and magnesium chloride.

In this experiment, you will use a Conductivity Probe to measure the salinity of salt water. In Part I, you will measure the change in ocean salinity due to evaporation. In Part II, you will measure the change in salinity near the mouth of a river as it flows into an ocean.


In this experiment, you will

  • Measure salinity of water sample using Conductivity Probe.
  • Determine the effect of evaporation on the salinity of ocean water.
  • Determine the salinity change when a river flows into an ocean.
  • Calculate salinity changes.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for Earth Science with Vernier »

Experiment 15 from Earth Science with Vernier Lab Book

<em>Earth Science with Vernier</em> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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