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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Question Water visibility and color

    Hey guys, just some curious thoughts that hopefully aren't extremely simple and make me look retarded hah. (oh well if it does)

    I tried looking this up with no such luck so I have come to here. I had always wondered why oceans in different locations had radically different colored water. I figured it had to do mostly with the sand, with regards to color and maybe how much is floating in the water. But, I feel like many places have similarities with both of these, yet are still different. Does temperature have a factor? Also, I feel like pollution shouldn't affect it that much, as the ocean is enormous, but might affect locally. Another guess might be river runoff?

    Just throwing guesses out there.


    Thanks for info boys,
    Ant

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Hey, you are pretty right on with the factors surrounded the ocean color.

    - ocean bottom
    - particles moving around the water

    Thats basically it.

    Reef breaks tend to be very clear, because, well, there isn't a lot of sand moving around in the ocean.

    Along the east coast, we get a lot of really dark colored water, and this is because most of our swells are wind swells - where strong winds accompany a storm moving along the coast. This creates a lot of current and the sand is being moved all over. You will notice, however, when we receive a ground swell, with little nearshore wind, we often can get very clear water on the east coast.

    Temperature doesn't play a part.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swellinfo View Post
    Reef breaks tend to be very clear, because, well, there isn't a lot of sand moving around in the ocean.

    Along the east coast, we get a lot of really dark colored water, and this is because most of our swells are wind swells - where strong winds accompany a storm moving along the coast. This creates a lot of current and the sand is being moved all over. You will notice, however, when we receive a ground swell, with little nearshore wind, we often can get very clear water on the east coast.

    makes total sense. awesome thanks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Annapolis
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    Water visibility and color

    ...part of the difference in color has to do with the sunlight's characteristics - on the west coast, if you notice, near the ocean the sun rises over land and sets over the ocean, and the light qualities are different than here on the east, where the sun rises over the ocean and sets over a land mass - in the mediterranean sea, the light at that latitude contributes to the "wine-red sea" that Homer dsecribes (the poet, not the teevee character!), but if you swim/scuba in it, it is very clear!

  6. #6
    It also has to do alot with all the microscopic organisms in the water. Temperate coastal waters like those off the north Atlantic coast are some of the most productive in the world. The high amount of algae and other plankton increase turbidity and decrease visibility. The tropical waters where alot of world class waves are located are often to hot and too salty to support the same type of productivity as far as algae and plankton go which is why they are often much clearer.