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Why Does Water Pressure Increase With Depth

Updated on November 3, 2012

Water Pressure Increasing With Depth

Water Pressure And Altitude

It is easily accepted that that water pressure increases with depth, and yet if we were to ask someone why does water pressure increase with depth, not many would be able to answer that question. Fortunately, after reading this article, you will be able to answer this question on how exactly water pressure is affected by altitude.

Water Pressure and Gravity

First and foremost, water is in fact not incompressible. This can be seen in high pressure cookers in order to achieve lower boiling temperatures and cook faster. The lower we go closer to the Earth's centre, the greater the pressure. This is vice versa to the higher we go, the lower the pressure. As we go extremely deep into the ocean, the water pressure becomes immense and the density increases to such an extent that it is enough to crush metal. The denser something is, the less room there is to move around. This results in higher water pressure as depth increases.

The Earth's gravity pulls down on everything. The first outer layer (e.g the ocean's surface that we see everyday) is pulled down. The second layer just beneath this first layer is also pulled down, but now it has an addition force of the first layer pushing it down. The last layer, e.g the water near the ocean's floor, has once again the pulling down force of gravity; but now it has both the first and second water layers pushing it down. As a result, water pressure increases more and more the deeper


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      gjk 24 months ago