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Overview: Mission Basics
Download a two-page overview of Aquarius Mission objectives, instruments, timeline, and partners [1 MB PDF]
buoyancy: The tendency or capacity to remain afloat in a liquid; the upward force that a fluid exerts on an object less dense than itself.
climate: The prevailing or normal pattern of weather at a place, or in a region, averaged over a long period of time; in contrast to weather, which is the state of the atmosphere at a particular time.
conductivity: A measure of the ability of a material to conduct or transmit an electric charge.
density: Mass per unit volume of a substance. Usually expressed as grams per cubic centimeter. For ocean water with a salinity of 35 at 0oC, the density is 1.028 grams per cubic centimeter.
dynamics: The physical forces that produce motion and change; the study of the relationship between motion and forces affecting motion.
evaporation: The physical process of converting a liquid to a gas. Commonly considered to occur at a temperature below the boiling point of the liquid.
fresh water: Non-saline water.
mixing: Combining or blending into one mass or mixture rendering the constituent parts indistinguishable.
model: System of data, inferences, and relationships, presented as a description of a process or entity.
practical salinity unit (psu): Used to describe the concentration of dissolved salts in water, the UNESCO Practical Salinity Scale of 1978 (PSS78) defines salinity in terms of a conductivity ratio, so it is dimensionless. Salinity was formerly expressed in terms of parts per thousand (ppt) or by weight (parts per thousand or 0/00). That is, a salinity of 35 ppt meant 35 pounds of salt per 1,000 pounds of seawater. Open ocean salinity is generally in the range from 32 to 37.
precipitation: Water released from the atmosphere in the form of rain, snow, hail, or sleet from the atmosphere onto Earth's surface.
resolution: The fineness of detail that can be distinguished in image, as on a computer screen or map.
salinity: A measure of the quantity of dissolved solids in ocean water. In general, salinity reflects the total amount of dissolved solids in ocean water in parts per thousand by weight after all carbonate has been converted to oxide, the bromide and iodide to chloride, and all the organic matter oxidized. Salinity is now measured as practical salinity units (psu).
stratification: Development of different layers; for example, the layering of seawater based on density.
system: 1) A regularly interacting or interdependent group of items forming a unified whole. 2) A manner of classifying. 3) A group of interacting bodies under the influence of related forces.water mass: A body of water identifiable by its temperature, salinity, or chemical content.
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