Hydrosphere Review


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  • The letter “H” stands for hydrogen while the letter “O” stands for oxygen. The subscript of “2” after the “H” tells us that there are 2 hydrogen atoms in a water molecule. The fact that there is no subscript after the “O” tells us that there is one oxygen atom in a water molecule. Thus, the chemical symbol “H 2 O” means “two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom.” Chemical symbols like this are called chemical formulas , because they provide a formula by which you can understand the chemical makeup of any substance. For example, natural gas stoves, water heaters, and furnaces burn a gas called methane, whose chemical formula is CH 4 . As we already know, the chemical symbol for hydrogen is “H. The chemical symbol for carbon is “C.” Thus, this chemical formula tells us that a molecule of methane contains one carbon atom (there is no subscript after the carbon's symbol) and four hydrogen atoms (there is a subscript of “4” after hydrogen's symbol). These atoms, when linked together in those numbers, make a molecule of methane. Notice what I needed to know to interpret a chemical formula. First, I needed to know the chemical symbols for each atom. Second, I needed to realize that if there is no subscript after a chemical symbol, that means there is only one of those atoms in the molecule. If there is a subscript, then the subscript tells me how many of those atoms exists in the molecule. So, in order to really be able to use chemical formulas, we will need to memorize all of the symbols for all of the atoms out there, right? Of course not. In this course, I will tell you the chemical symbol for any atom that you need to know. Eventually, you will become used to associating the most popular atoms with their symbols. You need to remember, however, that not all atomic symbols are composed of just one letter. Some atoms have two letters in their symbol. The chemical symbol for neon, an atom that comprises the gas used in neon signs, is “Ne.” Notice that even though there are two letters in this symbol, only one of them is capitalized. That is a general rule. All atomic symbols have only one capital letter. If there is a second letter in the symbol, it is always the lower case version of that letter. Also, you must realize that chemical symbols are not always as easily recognized as “C” for carbon and “Ne” for neon. The symbol for an iron atom, for example, is “Fe.” Where does that come from? Well, the Latin name for iron begins with the letters “f” and “e.” So sometimes we use two letters in an atomic symbol and sometimes we use one. Also, sometimes we base the symbol for an atom on its English name and sometimes we base it on its Latin name. Given all of that, make sure you understand the concept of chemical formulas by solving the “on your own” problems that follow.
  • What comes to mind when you think of "poles" (geographic N/S pole, battery terminals).
    Ionic bonds = electrons stripped/stolen/donated to form ions (remember NaCl?). Covalent bonds = shared electrons.
    In the case of water, there is actually a tug-of-war going on between the electrons that are supposedly being “shared” by the atoms. Much like two little children who continually fight over a toy that they are supposedly “sharing,” the oxygen atom and each hydrogen atom fight over the electrons that they are supposedly sharing. Continuing our analogy, suppose one of the children is stronger than the other. In the absence of proper adult supervision, the stronger child will end up with the toy more often than the weaker child, right? Well, it turns out that oxygen is stronger at pulling on electrons than is hydrogen so the oxygen atom will end up with the electrons more often than will the hydrogen. What's the big deal? Sure, oxygen isn't “playing fair,” but why worry about it? Remember that electrons are negatively charged. Since the oxygen gets the electrons more often than the hydrogens, it possesses more than its “fair share” of electrons. Since it possesses more than its “fair share” of electrons, it develops a very slight negative electrical charge. In the same way, since the hydrogen atoms get less than their “fair share” of electrons, they have less negative charge than they should. With less negative charge than they should have, they end up having a slight positive charge.
    The symbol δ is the lower-case Greek letter delta, and it is used to signify the fact that the electrical charges in the water molecule are very small. When you have positive and negative charges within the same structure, the phenomenon is called polarity (pol' air uh tee). As a result, we call water a polar molecule . Polar molecule - A molecule that has slight positive and negative charges due to an imbalance in the way electrons are shared
  • Notice what hydrogen bonds do. They link molecules together. Chemical bonds link atoms together to form molecules. Hydrogen bonds, on the other hand, bring individual molecules close together, linking them. Thus, while a chemical bond forms between atoms, a hydrogen bond forms between molecules. Also, since hydrogen bonds are weak, they can be easily broken. For example, if you boil water, you are adding enough energy to the water to pull the water molecules far apart, breaking the hydrogen bonds. Despite the fact that the hydrogen bonds break, the chemical bonds which hold the two hydrogen atoms to the oxygen atom do not break. Water vapor is still H2O, so the chemical bonds still hold. The molecules are so far apart, however, that the hydrogen bonds are eliminated.
  • At sea level, pure water boils at 100°C & freezes at 0°C
    Water's polarity forces molecules, as they slow down, to arrange themselves in a fixed crystal lattice formation. This formation causes ice to be less dense than liquid water. In its liquid form, water molecules are constantly moving around, sliding past each other and frequently forming and breaking hydrogen bonds. Because of this molecular movement, the molecules overall are closer together than in its solid state.
    Why is this important?
  • How do plants and trees hundreds of feet tall transport water up from the roots to the leaves without a pumping circulatory system?
    How do water bugs (or a paper clip) "float" on the top of ponds?
    Polarity of water results in cohesion (stickiness of molecules) that also creates surface tension
    Force of gravity on paper clip (or water bug) is less than the cohesive force of water (molecules clinging to each other at the surface more than they do in the solution because they are attracted to each other much more than they are attracted to the air).
  • How do plants and trees hundreds of feet tall transport water up from the roots to the leaves without a pumping circulatory system?
  • Water has a very high specific heat - lots of energy to raise or lower the temperature of water.
    stickiness makes water molecules cling together & resistant to vaporizing
    slipperiness makes water molecules repellant and keep sliding past each other (resistant to freezing)
    Water can absorb or release relatively large amounts of heat with only a slight change in its own temperature.
    Water stabilizes air temperatures by absorbing heat from warmer air and releasing heat to cooler air.
  • Even though we can list them as different water sources and account for how much water is in each of them, they do interact with one another, which makes for some very interesting science. Hydrologic cycle - The process by which water is continuously exchanged between earth's various water sources
  • One of two things that can happen to water: infiltration or runoff
  • Perhaps the largest aquifer in the world is the Ogallala aquifer located in the Midwestern part of the United
    States. This aquifer is named after a Sioux Indian tribe. It is estimated to be more than two million years
    old and to hold about 650 trillion gallons (2,500 trillion liters)! It underlies parts of 8 states, stretching about
    800 miles (1,288 km) from South Dakota to Texas. The Ogallala aquifer supplies vast amounts of water
    to irrigate the crops grown in this vitally important agricultural area.
  • One of two things that can happen to water: infiltration or runoff
  • When scientists speak of “salt,” they are actually talking about a large class of substances, of which sodium chloride is a member. There are many other substances that fall within the classification of “salt,” however. Have you ever heard of someone soaking their feet in a mixture of Epsom salt and water? Epsom salt is another member of the “salt” class; its specific name is magnesium sulfate. To a scientist, then, many of the substances I lumped into the “other” category are considered “salts” as well. Thus, you might hear someone say that ocean water is about 96.5% water and about 3.5% salt. That's true, but the person saying that is obviously using the term “salt” to mean a class of substances, not just table salt.
  • Where does all the salt in the ocean come from? Surface runoff (minerals)
    - minerals such as calcium are used up by shelfish, but not many organisms use NaCl, so it builds up
  • After a while, the whole mass of ice and snow gets so heavy that it starts to slowly slide down the mountain. The speed at which glaciers slide is rather slow, usually about 1 meter (a little more than 3 feet) per day. Glaciers have been recorded moving more rapidly, however. In 1937, the Black Rapids Glacier in Alaska was observed moving more than 30 meters (more than 100 feet) per day.
    As a glacier moves, it tends to sculpt the earth over which it is traveling, plowing earth and rocks out of the way, often making valleys where there were none before. As the glacier travels down the mountain, it will often reach an altitude where the snow and ice begin to melt faster than new snowfall can replenish it. At that point, the glacier starts to melt, feeding many freshwater sources in the hydrosphere. Glaciers in the polar regions of the earth, however, never reach that point, and they continue to flow into the sea, forming huge sheets of ice (ice shelves that extend over the ocean). The continent of Greenland, for example, is almost entirely covered in a huge sheet of ice that comes from two glaciers! The entire Antarctic continent is covered by a glacier which occupies an area of more than 13 million square kilometers (5 million square miles)!
    photos: top - piedmont glacier (room to spread out creates a wide "bowl")
    bottom - satellite photo of Greenland's continental ice sheet
  • Glaciers move by internal deformation and/or by sliding at the base. Internal deformation occurs when the weight and mass of a glacier causes it to spread out due to gravity.
    Sliding occurs when the glacier slides on a thin layer of water at the bottom of the glacier. This water may come from glacial melting due to the pressure of the overlying ice, or from water that has worked its way through cracks in the glacier. Glaciers can also readily slide on a soft sediment bed that has some water in it.
    When a glacier moves rapidly, internal stresses build up in the ice which cannot be relieved by deformation alone, and cracks (called crevasses) form at the surface of the glacier.
    Glaciers erode the rock underneath them. A glacier can "carve" a valley, wearing away rocks and soil through abrasion and plucking up and moving large pieces of rock and debris. The glacier pushes this earth and rock forward as it advances, almost like a conveyor belt, and dumps it to the side along the way or at the end of the glacier (deposition). Depositional features include moraines, drumlins, and eskers.
  • At some point, such glaciers move so far out into the sea that they end up in water deeper than they are thick. At that point, since ice floats in water, the glacier begins to float. Typically, large chunks of the end of the glacier break away, forming icebergs . As you probably know, the vast majority (about 90%) of an iceberg exists below the surface of the water, so what we can see of an iceberg is really only about 10% of the total. This is easy to understand if you look at an ice cube floating in a glass of water. We know that ice floats in water, but not very well. Since the mass of ice is only slightly smaller than the mass of an equal volume of water, only a small portion of the ice cube can actually float above the surface of the water. The same is true for an iceberg. This is what makes them dangerous to ships. As a ship travels, it might see the tip of an iceberg and steer clear of it. However, since 90% of the iceberg is under water, it is very possible that even though the ship steers clear of the portion of the iceberg that can be seen, the bottom of the boat can still collide with the other 90% of the iceberg that is under water! Sometimes the glaciers do not break apart as they float, and they end up forming vast ice shelves that extend out into the ocean. One such ice shelf is called the Ross Ice Shelf , and it covers a portion of the Antarctic ocean that is about the size of Texas. In the end, then, an iceberg is really a portion of a glacier that has broken off and floats in the ocean. Ice shelves are simply the ends of glaciers that float in the ocean. A glacier is the result of heavy snowfall in the mountains that does not melt away during the summer. So the largest sources of freshwater on the planet (icebergs and glaciers) are really the result of precipitation. After all, without snowfall in the mountains, none of this would ever happen!
  • As you can see from the figure, there is a region of soil that is completely saturated with water. This means that there is no way that any more water can be put in the soil. This water is considered groundwater and flows towards bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, oceans, and streams in order to feed them with new water. Above that region, the soil is not saturated, so it can hold more water. The water in this region is considered soil moisture . Some of the soil moisture goes into plants and is then ejected into the atmosphere through transpiration . Some of it can filter all the way down into the saturated soil to become part of the groundwater. The imaginary line that exists between the saturated and unsaturated soil is called the water table . Water table - The imaginary line between the water-saturated soil and the soil not saturated with water The depth of the water table changes based on how much water is available. After all, when water is scarce, soil that used to be saturated with water will eventually not be saturated any longer. Thus, if you wanted to find soil that was saturated with water, you would have to go deeper into the ground. The depth of the water table, therefore, increases under those conditions. When soil moisture flows through the water table to become a part of the groundwater, we say that it has experienced percolation . Percolation - The process by which water passes from above the water table to below it Since the water below the water table is saturated, percolation occurs only when some of the groundwater has flowed out of the region. At that point, there is some room for new groundwater, and soil moisture quickly percolates through to re-saturate the soil. As I stated before, groundwater is our largest source of liquid freshwater. In fact, 95% of all of the water used in the United States comes from its groundwater supply. Typically, we access this groundwater by digging wells or by draining lakes and ponds whose main water source is groundwater discharge. Most groundwater flows quickly, at rates of up to 50 feet per day. Some groundwater moves slowly, however. Rates as slow as 1 foot every ten days have been observed for certain groundwater sources.
  • Industries dumping waste into rivers or medical waste being thrown into the ocean is often what we think of when we think of water pollution. Although these problems are real and do exist, the more damaging water pollution today is happening in our groundwater supply. Pesticides, fertilizers, gasoline, and common industrial chemicals seep into the soil moisture and end up in the groundwater. From there, they feed all of the other water sources in Creation. The reason groundwater pollution is so damaging today is that it is very hard to control. After all, in most industrialized nations, there are laws about what can be dumped into rivers, oceans, and lakes. These laws are easily enforced because water in a river outside an industrial plant can be tested to see if the plant is dumping pollutants into it. The groundwater is a bit more difficult to test, however. Because of the nature of groundwater flow, pollutants that an industry allows to seep into the soil may show up in a lake 100 miles away! How will we know what industry to blame? Industry isn't the only culprit, either. Pesticides and certain fertilizers that are fine on land can be devastating to a lake or river. If a farmer overuses such chemicals, they make their way into the groundwater as well. Also, underground storage vessels at gasoline stations are notorious for leaking. When they leak, gasoline filters into the groundwater and makes its way into our lakes and rivers, as well as our drinking water. Finally, when the wrong kind of trash is put in a landfill or dump, toxic chemicals can seep from them into the soil, eventually percolating into the groundwater supply. In 1994, 41% of surveyed public water systems were contaminated by pesticides, gasoline, and industrial chemicals. There was no precise way to determine who the culprits were. Other types of water pollution exist as well. In many non-industrialized nations, human waste has so contaminated water sources that it is deadly to even drink from the lakes and rivers that once provided water for massive populations. In industrialized nations, water is often pulled from a lake or river to cool hot machinery. This cooling water gets hot in the process, and when it is returned to the water source, it changes the temperature of the water. This affects what kinds of organisms can live there, and if the temperature change is too severe, the entire balance of the lake's organisms can be thrown off. This kind of pollution, often called thermal pollution, can essentially result in total destruction of a local ecosystem.
  • RELATIVE HUMIDITY:  The relative humidity tells how much water the air is holding compared to how much it could hold at a certain temperature.
    Lets imagine we have a blob of air with moisture in it. The temperature of our blob of air is 80 degrees. So, how do we tell how much moisture is in it ????
    If our blob of air has a relative humidity of 50% then that means it is holding half of the amount of water a blob of air 80 degrees could hold. The relative humidity can change if the moisture changes or if the temperature changes.
    At 37 degrees C, air is capable of holding onto 44 mg of water vapor in each liter - so an absolute humidity reading of 22 would be 50% relative humidity.
  • Although not considered forms of precipitation, dew and frost are two other means by which water can leave the atmosphere and make it back to the earth. Dew forms when air near the surface of the earth gets cool. As this happens, the water vapor in the air will tend to condense into liquid. The problem, however, is that water vapor will not condense unless it can do so onto something. That's why clouds need cloud condensation nuclei in order to form. Near the surface of the earth, water will condense onto plants and soil, forming water droplets. These water droplets are called dew. The temperature at which dew forms, called the dew point, depends on the pressure and humidity of the air. The higher the pressure and humidity, the higher the dew point.
  • During autumn or winter, the air near the surface of the earth may get colder than the freezing point of water. When this happens, water vapor skips the liquid stage and immediately freezes on any surface with which it can come into contact, covering the surface with frost. Like dew, however, frost can only form on a surface. The temperature at which this occurs is called the frost point. The low temperatures which cause frost can be deadly for certain plants, so gardeners often cover their plants during cold nights to try and keep the cold air away from them.
  • Hydrosphere Review

    1. 1. Hydrosphere Review Water's Special Properties & The Water Cycle
    2. 2. Chemical Formula • H2O • Shows how many and which type of atoms make a single molecule O H H • How many atoms form one water molecule? Chemical bond
    3. 3. Polarity • Oxygen hogs the electrons • Hydrogen atoms don't get their fair share of "shared electron time" • Water is a polar molecule – O end of molecule = slight negative charge – H end = slightly positive • NOT an ion (no net charge)
    4. 4. Hydrogen Bonding • Attraction between oppositely charged regions of water molecules • Each molecule can have H-bonds with four other water molecules • Weak bonds continually break & reform
    5. 5. Frozen Water's Density • • • • Water freezes at 0° C (32o F) H2O is most dense at 4° C (as a liquid) Crystal lattice formation the result of water's polarity Density of solid H2O is 9% less than liquid H2O
    6. 6. Cohesion • Attraction between particles of the same substance (i.e. water molecules) • Results in Surface Tension – molecules at the surface cling together – produces a "film" on top of water that allow some things to remain afloat – only at surface
    7. 7. Adhesion • Attraction between particles of different substances – i.e. water and glass • Explains capillary action – water molecules will “tow” each other along when in a thin tube • Transports water against gravity (roots to leaves) in plants
    8. 8. Water Resists Temperature Changes • Heat = how fast molecules are moving • Water's polarity makes the molecules both "sticky" and "slippery" (like magnets that attract & repel) – stickiness: resistant to vaporizing because of cohesion – slipperiness: resistant to freezing because they keep sliding around • Specific Heat = energy needed to raise or lower 1g of anything by 1° C – Water has a very high specific heat • Water stabilizes air temperatures – Absorbs/releases large amounts of heat with only a slight change in its own temperature
    9. 9. Water Vapor • Water boils at 100°C (212oF) – LOTS of energy to break hydrogen bonds • Evaporation can occur at much lower temperatures • Water vapor in atmosphere resists temperature changes • Evaporation absorbs lots of heat energy – Evaporative cooling (sweat, panting, seashore)
    10. 10. Water Cycle Overview
    11. 11. Transpiration • Emission of water vapor from plants – Plants absorb water from soil to use in photosynthesis – Water vapor released through stomata (pores) under leaves
    12. 12. Precipitation • Water falling from the atmosphere – Vapor molecules collide & join to form droplets – Falls as rain, snow, sleet, or hail
    13. 13. Infiltration • Water absorbed into subsurface of dirt & rocks – Water percolates down between spaces in soil – Groundwater empties into streams/rivers/oceans or is stored underground in aquifers • Saturation = all the spaces in soil & rock are filled with water – Flooding occurs: • when soil becomes saturated, or • when precipitation falls faster than infiltration can occur
    14. 14. Groundwater • Precipitation seeps down through soil & rock • Layers act as filters that trap contaminants • Water table: imaginary line between the waterlogged soil and the soil not saturated with water – varies with seasonal precipitation, pumping, & geography • Two types of aquifers: – unconfined: water supply which has a solid layer of rock under it, but a permeable layer of rocks above it – confined: water supply sandwiched between two solid rock layers through which water cannot pass • pressure builds up and can form an artesian well
    15. 15. Surface Runoff • Water flows over the ground instead of sinking into the ground – Snow melts, rain runs off surfaces, etc. – Streams and rivers carry water back to oceans
    16. 16. Earth's Water Distribution • • • • • 97% in oceans (salt water) 2% trapped in glaciers, icebergs and polar ice caps .7% groundwater and soil moisture .01 % surface fresh water (lakes, rivers, wetlands) .001% atmospheric moisture (rain, dew, water vapor)
    17. 17. Salinity • A measure of the dissolved salt in water – 35 g of salt per kg of ocean water – concentration of salt varies with location • Water dissolves salts & minerals from the soil as it passes over/through the ground – lakes & rivers: have salts too, but are carried away with the water in the hydrologic cycle – Great Salt Lake has no outlet • water only leaves through evaporation
    18. 18. Glaciers • Years of continual snows compress layers below – Firn (hard-packed ice) – Polar or high-altitude areas • Thick layers get heavy/dense • Insulated bottom layer melts – Valley glaciers move down mountainsides – Continental glaciers (ice caps & ice sheets) flow outward in all directions from a central point – Typically move 1 - 3 meters each day
    19. 19. Flowing Ice • Valley (alpine) glaciers carve valleys by scouring mountainsides • Pick up, carry & deposit rocks • Crevasses form when glaciers move quickly (up to 30 m/day) • Retreat: melting occurs faster than snow accumulates
    20. 20. animation
    21. 21. Continental Glacier Ice Shelf Calving • Temperatures remain freezing across continent, even to sea level • Calving occurs as big chunks of the glacier fall off into the ocean to become icebergs
    22. 22. Icebergs • Glaciers reaching seas/lakes float on top – Ice Shelf = portion of connected glacier floating on water (may be miles wide/long) – Large chunks break away into icebergs – 90% of iceberg remains below water surface
    23. 23. GROUNDWATER & SOIL MOISTURE - .7% of Earth's Water • 95% of the water humans use • Gravity pulls water down – deeper underground – out to rivers/lakes/oceans
    24. 24. WATER POLLUTION • Open dumping of waste/litter – industrial legislation has helped • Groundwater contamination: – pesticides & fertilizers – gasoline (storage tanks, oil spills ) – landfills (mercury, human waste, battery acid) – hard to test/monitor sources •Thermal water pollution – flooding/natural disasters –water for cooling machinery raises temperatures when discharged back into lakes/rivers –upsets balance of entire ecosystem
    25. 25. Humidity • Absolute humidity: tells the amount of moisture in the air – warm air holds more water vapor than cool air - why? – example: absolute humidity of 8.7 mg/L at 20 oC • Relative humidity - tells how much water the air is holding compared to the most it could hold at a certain temperature – 50% humidity means the air is holding half of the moisture it is able to hold at that temperature 8.7
    26. 26. Dew • Ground-level condensation – vapor condenses into liquid droplets as it touches cooler ground surfaces • Dew Point = temp. at which atmospheric vapor condenses – varies depending on the humidity (how much vapor is in the air)
    27. 27. Frost • Frozen dew – water vapor skips liquid form and freezes as it touches below 0oC ground surfaces