Brackish water is saltier compared to fresh water but it is not as salty as freshwater and it might result from mixing of fresh water with sea water. It is that type of water whose salinity is between marine water and fresh water and such water mixes in the transitional areas. One of the best known examples of brackish water is an estuary where the part of the river meets the sea. Mangrove swamps are the specific example of environment of highly productive brackish water and it include those that are found in the everglades of Florida. The content of salt in the brackish water cannot be known appropriately as there is no universal scale that would state the quantity of salt that the brackish water contains. However, there is an accepted range and the salinity indicates the amount of salt that is dissolved in the water. Salinity is one of the measurement that is used for differentiating brackish water from the rest. Another measurement that is used to differentiate brackish water from the fresh and sea water is the density which implies the thickness of the substance by dividing the mass by its volume.
The fossil assemblages are traced by the brackish water on the basis of characteristic combination of trace fossil sizes, trace fossils, trend of distribution and assemblage diversities. The deposits under brackish water exploit the food resources by tracing fossil record behaviour of animals under a diverse range of environmental conditions.
Brackish water can also results from human activities such as from any particular civil engineering projects and from the flooding of coastal marshland. Brackish water can cause damage to the environment because without the appropriate management and is hostile to the growth of most of the species of terrestrial plant. Furthermore, brackish water can also occur underground in aquifers and watery ecosystem.
Desalinated brackish water can be used not only for drinking but salty water is also used for cooling by power generators by pumping from underground sources. In 2005, the thermoelectric power industry used more than 95% of the saline water that is drawn from the storage of groundwater. For desalination and purifying of brackish water, it is required to have advanced treatment using technologies and some of the technologies that are applied to the purification of brackish water include ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis and membrane based technologies. There is a continuous decrement in the cost of desalination and all such technologies are making production energy efficient and effective.
In some of the areas of United States, the needs of fresh water has been filled by the desalination of the brackish water. On other hand, desalination of sea water has been challenged by public in California and has been controversial. Moreover, desalination of brackish water are investigated by many communities and companies by using it as a mean to avert scarcity of water. This is so because brackish water can be treated for providing a source of reliable and healthy drinking water. The prime example of usage of brackish water using reverse osmosis in the petrochemical industry is oilfield of pacific rubiales. Prior to the process of any desalination, all the impurities such as hydrocarbon, residual oil, contaminants and other solids should be removed. Three stages of reverse osmosis is used in this particular process.
Brackish water deposits are characterized with the greater frequency in the rock record and their significance in delineating and interpreting the marginal zone is more apparent. Technically, the content of salt in the brackish water is between 0.5 grams to 30 grams of salt per litre and therefore brackish is not considered as precisely defined condition and a range of salinity regime is covered under this. In addition to this, salinity of many brackish surface water can vary significantly over time and space. The exclusive treatment of brackish water is distillation or membrane technology. Brackish water encounters the most common precipitates such as sulphates of calcium, silica, barium and strontium, magnesium carbonate and calcium. The precipitation of calcium carbonate is prevented by dosing as it contains high level of sulphuric acid and calcium. The areas where the freshwater is mixed with the sea water due to sudden and seasonal changes the temperature and salinity can be inhabited by organisms that are specialised for tolerating such conditions. Brackish water contains few species because of flora and fauna because of difficult environment. Nevertheless, due to huge amount of nutrients coming from the river, the few species found in the brackish water are plentiful. In addition to this, typical brackish water are consider heaven for mosquitoes as they breed in that water. The most dangerous of all marine animals is the salt crocodile and they live in the inlets of brackish water, river mouths and mangrove swamps. Areas where the fresh and salt water mixes that is estuaries are made up of several types of habitats and such habitats include coral reefs, oyster reefs, marshes, rocky shores, submerged aquatic vegetation and mangroves. In each of these different habitats, there are many different animals such as shell fish and fish. Brackish water is also a natural habitat of diverse group of aquatic animals and such animals thriving in brackish water cause some health problems to human eating them. Such water is a fast flowing region which is a habitat of fish such as molly, bumble bee goby, glassfish, knight goby, green spotted puffer, Celebes rainbow, orange chromide, figure eight puffer, target fish and Siamese tiger fish. Brackish water also have an integrated aquaculture system containing fish plankton and polynucleobacter bacteria.
Furthermore, brackish water also contains euryhaline organisms that have the natural ability to get adapted to the various environment and such organisms include European shore crab and brightly colored live bearing fish. It is indicated by the transition rate of habitat that water species switch preferably to back into the marine than forth into the habitats of fresh water.
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