|MadSci Network: Environment & Ecology|
Message Id Number 909538488.En Question: Where does the salt in salt water come from? The salt found in salt water (sea water) is composed primarily of the chemical compound sodium chloride and is represented by the chemical formular of NaCl. The two components of sodium chloride (sodium and chlorine) are the product of two earth processes; the chemical weathering of continental rocks (predominately igneous rocks) and the release of gasses (outgassing) that accompanies volcanic activity. Chemical Weathering As igneous rocks undergo weathering (physical and chemical), chemical constituents (such as sodium, represented by the chemical symbol [Na]) of the rock minerals are released into the environment. Na as a cation exist with a chemical valence of +1 (written as Na+1) which means that it wishes to join in a chemical bond with another element with a chemical valence of -1 so that the resulting chemical compound has no chemical valence. Volcanic Outgassing The other component of salt, chlorine is represented by the symbol Cl. Chlorine is released into the environment through gas emissions from volcanic activity.
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