Very seldom do I get to journey to larger bodies of water, in particular the Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake Bay, or the Gulf of Mexico. My younger brother does, however, and he was kind enough to bring me a gallon of seawater from the Atlantic Ocean where it pounds against the North Carolina shore. I have been intrigued by sea water evaporation and what gets left behind since I read the 1983 book by Kenneth J. Hsu, The Mediterranean Sea was a desert: a voyage of the Glomar Challenger. Here I have used half gallon pickle jars and split the gallon into two equal portions and placed it in the hot sunny environment of our greenhouse. The salts and other minerals will slowly settle and/or precipitate out of solution as the volume of water decreases due to evaporation. Intellectual curiosity drives this experiment/observation, but the additional appeal of the stimulation of the senses of smell and vision as I am able to smell the salt and view the crystals that are formed is as important in my motivation as the desire to understand the process of desiccation/evaporation.
30 Sep 2013