Welcome to the Salinometry

” He divided the sea,
and caused them to pass through;
and he made the waters to stand as an heap”
Pss 78

This website is about the laboratory measurements of salinity – the most interesting and fundamental physical property of the seawater. Despite the great progress achieved for the last 50 years in the development of the in situ measuring salinity CTD probes, laboratory salinometers are still in service by oceanographers. Nowadays these instruments play the “first fiddle” in the oceanographic measurements, keeping duties in transferring standard of conductivity and controlling performance of the CTD probes.

Practical salinity of samples become sophisticated deriving physical parameter, which provides the highest precision method in oceanography measurements.
I have been working for many years in the field of oceanography instrumentation and metrology and this is my experience I want to share.

I couldn’t find any precise definition of the word SALINOMETRY anywhere. So, I tried to give it by myself:

Salinometry – is the process of the laboratory measurements of the practical salinity of seawater samples with a salinometer.

Since the subject of salinometry is the seawater, I will dwell on such topics as the salinity and other physical parameters of the seawater, history of the measurement of salinity and common methods in the oceanographic practice. I hope that some notes and miscellaneous information about all aspects connected with seawater salinity will also be interesting. If you have any questions, suggestions, prepositions and interesting information to share please be free to contact me.

When I first started studying history of this subject I felt real excitement from this great example of the world scientific cooperation. This is a remarkable story about solving unsolved problems, counting uncounted matter, finding path in the world oceanographic community for unification of measuring one of the most important oceanographic parameter.
I dedicate this website with great respect to Thomas Dauphinee, a remarkable engineer and scientist, who worked in the National Research Council of Canada in Ottawa. The man who developed the first industrial high precision laboratory salinometer AUTOSAL (often called “the Canadian salinometer”), which for 40 years and still nowadays keeps highest standard in oceanography, the man who introduced one of the basic relationship for the Practical Salinity Scale 1978 and the man who received no awards from oceanographic community for his important contribution to science and great work in this field. He is worth his salt. Thanks, Tim!

The Return of the Deep Sea Sounder From "Scrap Book Hydrographic Inspector's Office", 1881. NOAA Photo Library
The Return of the Deep Sea Sounder
From “Scrap Book Hydrographic Inspector’s Office”, 1881.