UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
What is the percentage of the earth's salt water?
Question Date: 2014-08-11
Answer 1:

You may know that water covers nearly 75% of the Earth’s surface, are much of the water is contained within the world’s oceans. There is only a small portion of freshwater sources on Earth: lakes and rivers take a small part of that, but most of the freshwater is either underground or locked away, frozen in glaciers and ice caps.

Of all the water on Earth, over 97.5% is contained as salt water, leaving just 2.5% as fresh water.

Answer 2:

About 97% of the earth's water is salt water, most of this in the oceans. That being said there is also a lot of water on Earth, and since it cycles, we just have to be careful not to pollute the valuable fresh water we have. Also, a good amount of the fresh water on Earth (about 70%) is frozen in glaciers and ice caps.

Answer 3:

Oceans (which are the biggest bodies of salt water on our planet) cover around 70% of the surface of earth.

Answer 4:

The result from a quick Google search: 97.2% of the Earth's water is in the oceans, which is all salt water. About 2% is glaciers (fresh), 0.6% is groundwater (also fresh), and the rest (mainly fresh) adds up to about 0.02%.

Now, WARNING: there is a LOT of water locked away in rocks in the Earth's mantle. I don't know how much there is. It wouldn't really either be salt or fresh, though (it comes out as steam when volcanoes erupt).

Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2020 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use