eli5: what are the factors that affect ocean water clarity? Some days the ocean will be incredibly clear and the next day at the same location the water will be murky and green, why is this?


I read somewhere that oxygen levels in the water and tides have an effect. Obviously I understand that wind and waves will stir up sediment but I feel there’s more factors at play. Curious if anyone knows.

In: 5

Certain combinations of temperature and oxygen saturation can cause sponteneous algae blooms.

Herring and other bait fish often spawn vast swathes of eggs that clog bays and shorelines.

As well, changing river flow volumes can shift sediment outflow patterns where rivers meet the sea.

Finally, foul weather and heavy seas can stir up sediment in shallow water.

Erosion from the land;

1soils, sediments, particulates from erosion (reduces light penetration, kills plants, corals, covers gravels so fish cant lay eggs)

2 nitrogen from agriculture (causes algae blooms and dead zones)

3 Biocides, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, all bad (but do not efect water clarity)

This is because our industrial farming is doing it the wrong way. They till the soil and make it vulnerable to the sun, wind, and rain. Tilling exposes it and allows it to wash away into the water.

And if you are wondering, yes, it is a huge apolcalyptic problem, and it can easily be fixed by plowing using the keyline-plowing pattern, with a keyline plow. Or installing level-swales. These landscaping techniques turn the terrain into a water harvesting and filtration system.

All of our waters, rivers, lakes, and oceans can be crystal clear if we used keyline-plowing and level-swales