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Salt Water

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Salt water refers to water that contains dissolved salts, known as saline water or seawater, water from oceans or seas. It is a home to varieties of aquatic animals, for example, fishes and snails. Some of these animals find it difficult to live in fresh water. If salt water animals go to live in fresh water they can not adapt the environment led to die to them. This essay aims to discuss the importance of salt water and the sub- types namely ocean, sea, and coral reefs. It will also show pictures where it is found and the aquariums that are inhabitants. In other to achieve this objective, this essay will be further divided into five sections. Section 2 will discuss ocean, section 3 seas, section 4 coral reefs and section 5 is the conclusion.

Section 2 Oceans

Oceans are salt water surrounding the great land masses, and divided by the land masses into several distinct portions. Wikipedia (2008) also defines an ocean as a major body of saline water, and a principal component of the hydrosphere. Approximately 71% of the Earth's surface, an area of some 361 million square kilometres is covered by ocean, a continuous body of water that is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas. More than half of this area is over 3,000 meters (9,800 ft) deep. Average oceanic salinity is around 35 parts per thousand /3.5%, and nearly all seawater has a salinity in the range of 30 to 38 ppt. Examples of oceans are Indian, Pacific, Atlantic Ocean, the Southern Ocean.

The diagram below shows the depth of an ocean from the high water salt level to the low water level and to the Hadalpelagic level.

Different Life forms are native to the oceans; they include Radiata, Fish, and Cetacea such as whales, dolphins and porpoises. Cephalopods such as the octopus, Crustaceans such as lobsters and shrimp, Marine worms, Plankton, Krill and Echinoderms also form part of the fauna in the oceans, which are also found in many parts of seas since seas form oceans as mentioned below.

Section 3- Seas

A Sea according to Wikipedia is a division of an ocean or a large body of salt water partially enclosed by land or a large, usually saline, lake that lacks a natural outlet such as the Caspian Sea and the Dead Sea. Marginal seas are those that have currents caused by ocean winds, and Mediterranean seas are those in which currents are caused by differentials in salinity and temperature. Adriatic, Argentine, Aegean Seas are all seas in the Atlantic Ocean and therefore some of the plants and animals in the ocean are also found in the seas. However more examples of fauna found in the sea are mentioned in the paragraph below.

Sea Plant at Monterey Aquarium

Plants and animals

The examples of animals found in the sea are jellyfish, actinia, goby, stingray, goat fish, hermit crab, blue sponge, spiny dogfish/ Black Sea sharks, killer whale, dolphins, sea lions, harp seal, as well as most those found in the oceans too.

Section 4 Coral reefs

According to Wikipedia, Coral reefs, for example the Great Barrier reef are carbonate mineral, naturally occurring polymorphs of calcium structures produced by living organisms, found in shallow, tropical marine waters with little to no nutrients in the water. High nutrient levels such as those found in runoff from agricultural areas can harm the reef by encouraging the growth of algae. The accumulation of skeletal material, broken and piled up by wave action and living organisms produces a massive calcareous formation that supports the living corals and a great variety of other animal and plant life. Although corals are found both in temperate and tropical waters, reefs are formed only in a zone extending at most from 30Ð'oN to 30Ð'oS of the equator. Reef-forming corals do not grow at depths of over 30 m (100 ft), and temperature has less of an effect on distribution but it is generally accepted that no corals exist in waters below 18 Ð'oC.

Coral Reef Fauna

Cyanobacteria are bacteria that (obtain their energy through photosynthesis) are soluble nitrogen and oxygen atoms or the coral reef through the process of nitrogen fixation.

Coral reefs are home to a variety of tropical or reef fish, such as the parrotfish, angelfish, damselfish and butterfly fish, and over 4,000 species of fish inhabit coral reefs. The fish species that inhabit coral reefs are able to coexist in such high numbers because any free living space is rapidly inhabited by the first type fish larvae that occupy it. These fish then inhabit the space for the rest of their life and the species that inhabit the free space is random.

Due to their vast biodiversity, many governments world-wide take measures to protect their coral reefs e.g. in Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Fig 2: Some of the biodiversity of a coral reef

Major plants and animals found on Coral Reefs.

Thus, primary productivity on a coral reef is very high and producers in coral reef communities include the symbiotic zooxanthellae, coralline algae, and various seaweeds, especially small types called turf algae, although scientists disagree about the importance of these particular organisms.




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