The corrosion of metals in saltwater is a complex problem. There are many factors involved including, temperature, salt concentration, oxygen concentration and even fluid velocity. Pitting, stress corrosion cracking, erosion corrosion and galvanic corrosion are all commonly found in metals exposed to saltwater. Fortunately, this subject has been studied in detail and many resources are available.

For a short discussion including some data, try looking at one of the well known general texts on corrosion like Fontana's Corrosion Engineering or Roberge's Corrosion Basics. For more detailed information, try consulting various texts devoted solely to corrosion in the marine environment (e.g. LaQue's Marine Corrosion: Causes and Prevention). NACE, the National Association of Corrosion Engineers, is another good source for information and has published standards dealing with materials of construction in seawater environments.