The clarity of sea water is very dependant
on the concentration of TINY TINY particles of
stuff floating in the water.
This stuff can be suspended grains of minerals
that get particles of biologic origin.
When sunlight penetrates the oceans, the light
is scattered by these particles. That is, the
light rays bounce off of the particles ... or
reflected off of the particles. The reflected
light is scattered in all directions and this
makes the water lose its transparency. After
big rain storms in Santa Barbara, California, you
will note that the water looks dirty brown within
a few hundred meters or more out to sea; this is
because huge numbers of tiny clay particles are
suspended in the WATER COLUMN and that makes the
water look murky.
You can do an experiment at home.
Collect a few grams of soil somewhere and take a
bottle of water, put the sediment into the water
and shake vigorously. Then shine a light through
the bottle and on the opposite side monitor the
amount of light that is getting THROUGH the water.
You will note that after a few hours more and more
of the light can travel through the water.
Click Here to return to the search form.