I’ve heard a bunch of different hypotheses about what sea foam actually is, but no one - neither knowledgeable people nor oceanography texts, seems to agree on what exactly it is. I’m hoping someone here can tell me.
So far I’ve heard:
That the stuff of sea foam is just plain old seawater surrounding bubbles of air that have been mixed into the water.
That the stuff of sea foam is seawater, but that as it becomes an extremely thin layer around a bubble of air, more water evaporates and the salts that remain allow the sea foam to maintain its shape as it dries - thus giving you the dry sea foam that you might see blow across the beach in high wind.
That the stuff of sea foam is nutrients from the seawater, which are better at forming a bubble shape than the water is.
That the stuff of sea foam is the remains of plankton in the seawater - shells, oils, and all, the lipids in which allow it to form a bubble much like a soap bubble.
That the stuff of sea foam is the products of decomposition of organisms from the ocean.
Everyone seems to agree that sea foam is caused by the turbulent mixing of air and water in the surf zone, in storms, and occasionally where bodies of water converge.
So is it one, none, or more than one of the above?
If you could also cite your sources so I could check this out in more depth, I would greatly appreciate that :)!