MadSci Network: Earth Sciences

Re: How many gallons of water are there in all of the oceans?

Date: Thu Aug 24 05:16:12 2000
Posted By: Dr Jim Mullaney, Secondary School Teacher, Chemistry / Biology, Mandurah Catholic College
Area of science: Earth Sciences
ID: 966485663.Es

That is a very interesting question - you probably won't believe the 
answer because it is so huge!!!!!!! This is information I got from the  US 
Geological survey page, which can be found at -

The total water supply of the world is 326 million cubic miles (a cubic 
mile is an imaginary cube (a square box) measuring one mile on each side). 
A cubic mile of water equals more than one trillion gallons.

One cubic mile = 1,000,000,000,000 gallons so the earth has - 
326,000,000,000,000,000,000 gallons.

 About 3,100 cubic miles of water, mostly in the form of water vapor, is 
in the atmosphere at any one time. If it all fell as precipitation at 
once, the Earth would be covered with only about 1 inch of water.

 The 48 contiguous United States receives a total volume of about 4 cubic 
miles of precipitation each day.

 Each day, 280 cubic miles of water evaporate or transpire into the 

 If all of the world's water was poured on the United States, it would 
cover the land to a depth of 90 miles.

 Of the freshwater on Earth, much more is stored in the ground than is 
available in lakes and rivers. More than 2,000,000 cubic miles of fresh 
water is stored in the Earth, most within one-half mile of the surface. 
Contrast that with the 60,000 cubic miles of water stored as fresh water 
in lakes, inland seas, and rivers. But, if you really want to find fresh 
water, the most is stored in the 7,000,000 cubic miles of water found in 
glaciers and icecaps, mainly in the polar regions and in Greenland.

Hope this helps ... and thanks for using the Mad Scientists :o)


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