Chapter Three

Physical properties of seawater

Data files supplied for Chapter 3 exercises:

  • A16S_2005_sta085_bottle.joa
Download: Chapter 3 Data Files


  • Explore the physical and chemical characteristics of seawater
  • Understand parameters which are calculated from basic measured characteristics
  • Explore vertical distributions at a single location in the South Atlantic Ocean
  • Examine the regional variations in vertical distributions to be examined in later chapters.
  • Learn how to navigate plots

To accomplish this, one will:

  • Open a station file
  • Create basic property-property plots
  • Create 4 parameter property-property graphs
  • Customize plots
  • Examine plots


  • JOA built in parameter calculator
  • JOA multiple x-axis parameter plotting capabilities

DPO Chapter 3 Sections:

DPO JOA examples are available for the following highlighted sections:
3.1 Molecular properties of water
3.2 Pressure
3.3 Thermal properties of seawater: temperature, heat and potential temperature
3.3.1 Temperature
3.3.2 Heat
3.3.3 Potential temperature
3.4 Salinity and conductivity
3.5 Density of seawater
3.5.1 Effects of temperature and salinity on density
3.5.2 Effect of pressure on density: potential density
3.5.3 Specific volume and specific volume anomaly
3.5.4 Effect of temperature and salinity on compressibility: potential and neutral density
3.5.5 Linearity and nonlinearity in the equation of state
3.5.6 Static stability and Brunt-Väisälä frequency
3.5.7 Freezing point of seawater
3.6 Other characteristic properties of seawater
3.7 Sound in the sea
3.8 Light and the sea
3.8.1 Optical properties
3.8.2 Ocean color
3.9 Ice in the sea
3.9.1 Freezing process
3.9.2 Brine rejection
3.9.3 Density and thermodynamics of sea ice
3.9.4 Mechanical properties of sea ice
3.9.5 Types of sea ice
3.9.6 Polynyas and leads
3.9.7 Ice break-up
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