The development of the chlorinity-salinity concept in oceanography Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/t435gg64z

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  • This study traces the historical foundations of the concept of constant ionic proportionality and the equation (Salinity [S%₀] = 1.805 Chlorinity [Cl%₀] + 0.030) which has been in general use in oceanography since 1902 until 1969 and which is based upon this constancy, The notion that the constituents present in sea water exist in constant proportions was first clearly stated by Marcet in 1819. The germ of the idea may be found, however, in the works of Bergmann in the late eighteenth century and implied in other works. Maury, in the mid-nineteenth century, popularized the concept and Forchhammer, in 1865, strengthened this idea by quantifying it and introducing the use of the "coefficient" of chlorine to determine salinity, Although he determined a slightly different value for the coefficient, Dittmar regarded his analysis of the sea water samples from the Challenger expedition as a vindication of Forchhammer's work. Knudsen, Forch and Sorensen, in 1902 gave a lengthy gravimetric definition for salinity based on the analysis of nine water samples. As this procedural definition was in practice too time-consuming to perform, the above equation was presented which relates the determination of salinity to that of chlorinity. The work of Knudsen, Forch and Sorensen, and that of Dittmar before them, was accepted as demonstrating the constancy of ionic proportionality, and the equation was a cornerstone of chemical oceanography from 1902 to 1958. In 1958 a number of oceanographers began to criticize the equation and its underlying concept of constancy and to call for a redefinition of salinity. In 1969 a change in definition was formally recommended. This study supports such a redefinition on the basis that the historical evidence indicates that no one has ever demonstrated that the constituents of sea water exist in constant proportion, that the number and types of sea water samples available to Knudsen, Forch and Sorensen were not representative of the open ocean, and that these workers, themselves, believed the definition they gave to be only a temporary one.
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