Salinity is the measure of the quantity of dissolved salts in seawater. Scientists are investigating how salinity variations modify ocean density and influence ocean circulation from the tropics to the poles. Interestingly, the annual outflow from the Amazon River accounts for one-fifth of all fresh water that drains into the world’s oceans. The Amazon’s outpouring of water and sediment is so great that the salinity and color of the Atlantic Ocean are altered for miles from the mouth of the river. race journal

Shipmates-Salinity is brought to you by our very own Bigelow Lab. This student-friendly site offers an overview of salinity and provides two ready to use lesson plans to demonstrate salinity in the classroom. You will also find seasonal salinity data for use in classroom activities. Appropriate for grade levels 5-8.

Why is the Ocean Salty? This site is offered by Palomar College but the actual information is from a publication provided by the US Geologial Survey. This site provides another overview of salinity including definitions, examples, facts, geological history of salinity. Appropriate for grade levels 7-12 and general audiences.

River Plumes and Estuaries from the NASA group brings you some interesting images of boundaries where fresh water meets the ocean. The discussion on this page highlights concepts associated with salinity including the function of the Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS) an instrument carried on the NIMBUS-7 satellite. You'll be jumping right into Chapter 10 on salinity of the CZCS archive, but don't hesitate to start at the beginning by going to CZCS index at the bottom of the page of Chapter 10. Appropriate for grade levels 9-12 and general audiences.

Aquarius is THE cutting edge of salinity research from NASA. Aquarius is a focused satellite mission to measure global Sea Surface Salinity (SSS). Scientific progress is limited because conventional in situ SSS sampling is too sparse to give the global view of salinity variability that only a satellite can provide. The mission of Aquarius is to fill the missing piecies of information concerning the physical processes that link the water cycle, the climate, and the ocean. You'll find lots of information on salinity and the mission, but you'll have to wait for the educational resources which are not yet online. Bookmark this site for future reference as the site evolves. Appropriate for grade levels 7-12.

Amazonia is another great topic offered in the Earth Observatory program. You'll find a discussion of the Amazon area including the river and the rainforest. It's good overview of the effect this region of the world has on global climate. Appropriate for grade levels 7-12 and general audiences.