Estimating the Density and Compressibility of Seawater to High Temperatures Using the Pitzer Equations

Carmen Rodriguez, Frank J. Millero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The density and compressibility of seawater solutions from 0 to 95 °C have been examined using the Pitzer equations. The apparent molal volumes (X = V) and compressibilities (X = κ) are in the form, where X0 is the partial molal volume or compressibility, I is the ionic strength, m is the molality of sea salt, AX is the Debye-Hückel slope for volume (X = V) or adiabatic compressibility (X = κs), and g(y) = (2/y2)[1 - (1 + y) exp(-y)] where y = 2I0. 5. The values of the partial molal volume and compressibility (X0) and Pitzer parameters (β(0)X, β(1)X and CX) are functions of temperature in the form, where ai are adjustable parameters, T is the absolute temperature in Kelvin, and TR = 298. 15 K is the reference temperature. The standard errors of the seawater fits for the specific volumes and adiabatic compressibilities are 5. 35E-06 cm3 g-1 and 1. 0E-09 bar-1, respectively. These equations can be combined with similar equations for the osmotic coefficient, enthalpy and heat capacity to define the thermodynamic properties of sea salt to high temperatures at one atm. The Pitzer equations for the major components of seawater have been used to estimate the density and compressibility of seawater to 95 °C. The results are in reasonable agreement with the measured values (0. 010E-03 g cm-3 for density and 0. 050E-06 bar-1 for compressibility) from 0 to 80 °C and salinities from 0 to 45 g kg-1. The results make it possible to estimate the density and compressibility of all natural waters of known composition over a wide range of temperature and salinity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-133
Number of pages19
JournalAquatic Geochemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Apparent molal compressibility
  • Apparent molal volume
  • Density
  • Pitzer equations
  • Sea salts
  • Seawater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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