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Name: Antonio
Status: Student
Grade: 9-12
Location: NJ
Country: United States
Date: August 2007


Question:
There is nothing separating the sea water from Florida and New York. So, how is it that in Miami I can see the crystal clear water and view my feet and in New York I cannot? Is there a natural form of water purification? If so what is it?



Replies:
Water clarity depends upon a large number of factors which include, but are not limited to: wave action, water temperature and algal life, seabed and onshore geology, pollution, nearness of sediment sources such as rivers, whether the area is sinking or rising from the sea, sun light, time of depth, water depth, presence of and direction of currents, marine animals present, range of tides (or no tides).

Depending upon where you are in Florida and New York there is a major difference in sea bed and onshore geology. Florida is lime and New York is old glacial deposits. There are also far fewer sources of sediment, ie. rivers and creeks, in Florida. As I remember it, waves are bigger and stronger on Long Island's south shore than in much of Florida and this keeps sediments stirred up.

By the way, if you think New York seawater is cloudy, visit the Texas and Louisiana Gulf coasts. Long-shore currents and sediments from the Mississippi and other rivers keeps these waters almost opaque near shore.

R. Avakian



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