Artificial seawater (or ASW) is a mixture of dissolved mineral salts (and sometimes vitamins) that simulates seawater. Artificial seawater is primarily used in marine biology and marine aquaria, and allows the easy preparation of media appropriate for marine organisms (including algae, bacteria, plants and animals). From a scientific perspective, artificial seawater has the advantage of reproducibility over natural seawater.
The tables below present an example of an artificial seawater preparation devised by Kester, Duedall, Connors and Pytkowicz (1967). The recipe consists of two lists of mineral salts, the first of anhydrous salts that can be weighed out, the second of hydrous salts that should be added to the artificial seawater as a solution.
|Salt||Molecular weight||g kg−1 solution|
|Sodium chloride (NaCl)||58.44||23.926|
|Sodium sulfate (Na2SO4)||142.04||4.008|
|Potassium chloride (KCl)||74.56||0.677|
|Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3)||84.00||0.196|
|Potassium bromide (KBr)||119.01||0.098|
|Boric acid (H3BO3)||61.83||0.026|
|Sodium fluoride (NaF)||41.99||0.003|
|Salt||Molecular weight||mol kg−1 solution|
|Magnesium chloride (MgCl2.6H2O)||203.33||0.05327|
|Calcium chloride (CaCl2.2H20)||147.03||0.01033|
|Strontium chloride (SrCl2.6H2O)||266.64||0.00009|
While all of the compounds listed in the recipe above are inorganic, mineral salts, some artificial seawater recipes, such as Goldman and McCarthy (1978), make use of trace solutions of vitamins or organic compounds.
The International Standard for making Artificial Seawater can be found at ASTM International. The standard is called ASTM D1141-98 which is the standard practice for the preparation of substitute ocean water.
See also 
- Kester, D. R., Duedall, I. W., Connors, D. N. and Pytkowicz, R. M. (1967). Preparation of Artificial Seawater. Limnology & Oceanography 12, 176—179.
- Goldman, J. C. and McCarthy, J. J. (1978). Steady-state growth and ammonium uptake of a fast-growing marine diatom. Limnology & Oceanography 23, 695–703.
- , ASTM International, ASTM D1141-98
- "Sea Salt" ASTM D1141-98 this product is used in research testing labs, Lake Products Company
- Artificial seawater media, Goldman & McCarthy (1978)
- Modified Artificial Seawater Media (MASM), Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa
- Mixing artificial seawater, Aquatic Eco-Systems, Inc.