It was recognized in early civilizations that most elements are
dissolved in seawater. Many kings and queens in early dynasties would
hire court "alchemists" to try and extract gold from
seawater. Most alchemists were unsuccessful because it takes more money
to extract the element than the element is worth.
The major chemical components include chlorine,
sodium, magnesium, sulfate, calcium, and potassium. The bonding of
chlorine and sodium produces a major resource from seawater, salt. The
minor components include bromine, carbon, strontium, boron, silica, and
Some of these elements and compounds go in and out
of dissolution in seawater. Many of the elements are used in
biological processes to produce skeletons and then deposited on the
ocean bottom. If the sediments are buried, the elements are taken out of
the chemical pot.