Water on Earth

Earth viewed from space looks like mostly (~ 70% of the surface) water---this is very misleading, however.

Earth/Water Links:

How much water on Earth?                               water wikipedia

Freshwater on Earth                                          Source of Earth’s Water

Carnegie: Meteorites and water                        Volcanic degassing of Earth

The water is concentrated at the Earth’s surface, so its relative mass compared to the whole Earth is small. It amounts to about 0.02 % of Earth’s mass!

The largest drop here represents the volume of all water, the mid sized drop freshwater, and the smallest drop (near Atlanta) all of Earth’s lake water.

96.5% of Earth’s water is in the oceans, 2.5% is freshwater, about 1% is salty water in the ground.

Freshwater resources are nearly 70% locked up in ice, and most of the rest is in the ground. Only 1.3 % is surficial freshwater, mostly in lakes.  Lake Superior is about 10% of Earth’s total surficial fresh water, a remarkable concentration--Earth’s second largest.  Two larger lakes are Lake Baikal, which has nearly twice the volume of Lake Superior, and Lake Tanganyika. Both are also located in rift valleys.