noun, plural: salinities
The degree of saltiness; the relative proportion of salt in a solution
Salinity pertains to the degree of saltiness or the relative proportion of salt in a solution. In limnology (the scientific study of the biological, chemical, and physical properties of inland waters), salinity is an essential tool to determine the appropriateness of the inland water as habitat to various freshwater species. It is a measure of the dissolved salt content of the water and an important factor in the inhabitability of freshwater organisms. By definition, salinity in relation to limnology refers to the total amount of dissolved solids in water in parts per thousand by weight.1 Salts taken into account include sodium chloride, magnesium sulfate, potassium nitrate, and sodium bicarbonate. Rivers and lakes vary in terms of salinities, i.e. from less than 0.1 g per kg. 2 In comparison, the seawater is approximately 35 g per kg of liquid.1 The Dead Sea, which is actually a lake, has a salinity of more than 200 g per kg.3 It is considered as the deepest hypersaline lake on Earth. Its salinity accounts for it being dead, which means it is unsuitable for animal or plant life.
Word origin: Latin sal (“salt”)
1 salinity. (n.d.) Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed.. (2005). Retrieved from ://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/salinity.
2 Eilers, J. M., Sullivan, T. J., and Hurley, K. C. (1990). “The most dilute lake in the world?”. Hydrobiologica.199: 1–6.
3 Anati, D. A. (1999). “The salinity of hypersaline brines: concepts and misconceptions”. Int. J. Salt Lake. Res. 8: 55–70.