To demonstrate density differences in ocean and coastal waters, and how these differences drive currents.
Circulation in estuaries and oceans depends in part on differences in density of the waters. Water with more salt is heavier and sinks while fresher water is lighter and “floats” on the surface. These buoyancy differences result in the separation of water into layers (stratification) within an estuary or coastal ocean. Stratification can be disrupted by heating and cooling of surface waters and/or by wind-generated water movement like waves and currents. The primary source of fresh water in estuaries and coastal oceans is from rivers coming from land with a rating of 0-5 practical salinity units (PSU), while salt water is from the open oceans and has a rating of 32-35 PSU. In this simulation we will observe what happens when simulated river water is mixed with simulated ocean water.
After adding the fresh and salty water to the tank:
After blowing on the surface of the water through a straw: