When you look at the seas and oceans on the map you might think that they just flow into each other. It seems like there’s only one big ocean, and people just gave different names to its parts. Well, you’ll be amazed at how vivid the borders between them are! The border between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans is like a line between 2 worlds. It looks as if the two oceans meet at an invisible wall that does not let them flow into each other and mix their waters. Why on Earth does it happen? We know for sure there is no invisible wall inside, and water is water. So what could interfere with its mixing?
– Pacific oceans have different density and chemical make-up, the level of salinity and other qualities. One can see by the colour that they are far from being the same.
– Haloclines – borders between waters with different salinity – are the most spectacular, and this is what we see when the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans meet.
– Haloclines appear when water in one ocean or sea is at least 5 times saltier than in the other.
– Another important difference between the two oceans’ water is the strength of molecules’ connection or surface tensile strength.
– Maybe they could gradually start mixing with time, but as the flows in them have opposite directions, they just don’t have time to do this.
– There are also thermoclines – borders between water of different temperatures, like the warm water of Gulf Stream and much colder North Atlantic Ocean.
– The North and Baltic Seas meet near the Danish city of Skagen. The water in them does not mix because of different density.
– The Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet at the Strait of Gibraltar and have a different density and salinity, so their water does not mix too.
– The Uruguay River and its afflux meet in Misiones province in Argentina. One of them is cleaned to be used in agriculture, and the other gets almost red because of loam during rainy seasons. – Mosel and Rhein meet in Koblenz, Germany. Rheine has lighter water and Mosel – darker.
– Alaknanda and Bhagirathi Rivers meet in India. Alaknanda is dark and Bhagirathi is light.
– The Jialing and Yangtze Rivers meet in Chongqing, China. The Jialing is clean and the Yangtze is brown.
– The water of the Chuya has an unusual cloudy white colour here and looks dense and thick. Katun is clean and turquoise. Flowing into each other they form a single two-coloured flow that does not mix for some time.
– The Rhone and Arve rivers flow into each other in Geneva, Switzerland. The Rhone is a pure river that flows out of the lake of Geneva, the Arve is cloudy as it gets its water from glaciers of the Chamonix valley.
Source of information: Bright Side