Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Freezing of Ocean Water

Figure from experiment 17 from Earth Science with Vernier


During winter in the Northern Hemisphere, Arctic air temperatures often dip below what we normally think of as the freezing point of water. Yet, while freshwater lakes freeze over, much of the ocean stays in liquid form rather than freezing into ice. Why doesn’t ocean water freeze at the same temperature as fresh water?

In this experiment, you will use a Temperature Probe to measure the temperature of water as it cools and then freezes. In Part I, you will collect temperature data as you freeze fresh water and determine its freezing temperature. In Part II you do the same for ocean water. You will then compare the two freezing temperatures and hypothesize why they are different.


In this experiment, you will

  • Observe the freezing of fresh water and ocean water.
  • Use a Temperature Probe to measure temperature.
  • Determine the freezing temperature of fresh and ocean water.

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 17 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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