Why are oceans salty but not lakes?



  1. 0 Votes

    Oceans are salty because as water travels from rivers it picks up salts and other minerals along the way. The salt gathers in the oceans because only water evaporates from the oceans and it leaves the salt behind. There’s the same amount of salt and less water which makes the ocean salty. Rivers are formed by rainfall and melted snow and they don’t have time to collect enough salt for it to register as salty.

  2. 0 Votes

    Lakes that lack outlets, allowing for the dissolved salts to be carried through the lake, also become salty. Among the best examples of lakes like this are the Caspian Sea, Aral Sea, and Great Salt Lake, but there are others.

    Rivers are indeed “salty” because of the materials they erode and carry, so it is incorrect as the other answer says to indicate that rivers don’t carry salts; they do, and it is the dissolved salts that they carry to the ocean that have no place else to go that make the ocean salty. Evaporation contributes some, but is not the origin of the saltiness.

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