Understanding water

Wasserkunde

Of oceans and various mineral waters

All life originates in water. Water covers almost three quarters of the Earth’s surface, which gives it the name the ‘Blue Planet’. The composition of our oceans has scarcely changed in around three billion years. Each litre of seawater already contains 35 grammes of common salt and a few other kinds in a dissolved state. These high salt concentrations mean that seawater is poisonous to humans and other animals living on dry land. But the water cycle ensured that fresh water was available for the evolution of land animals and humans on the landmass of our planet.

Vast quantities of water are continuously evaporating from the sweeping expanses of the oceans, transforming into invisible water vapour. It cools down and turns into clouds or fog. And when the wind whips clouds across mountains, cooling them down even more, they turn into rain, snow or even hailstones.

Our landmass of our planet has changed inexorably over millions of years. What was once ocean sediment became new strata of soil, layered up into mountains by tumultuous tectonic movement. This is why almost every region of the Earth has characteristic structures and unique subsoil.

It’s also the reason why the springs that bring percolated rainwater back up to the surface exhibit varying chemical compositions. This is predicated firstly on the geographic location and availably rock strata, and secondly on the dwell of the water below ground. Mineral contents will be low if the water is just a transient visitor.

In contrast, some of the springs that are blessed by nature emit water that has seeped through the innumerable rocky layers for around 20 to 50 years before rising back up to the surface. This kind of water carries a far larger mineral content than standard type water and is therefore quite rightly appreciated as ‘mineral water’. The particular mineral contents depend largely on the random arrangement of rock layers below the Earth’s surface. The often widely differing mineral content in various waters is due precisely to this reason.

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