What are the different types of water? 4
How was the ocean made? 6
pH levels 7
How much salt water is there? 8
How can we generate power from the oceans? 9
Are our oceans sustainable? 10
What might happen to our oceans in the future? 11
What can we, as a community,help? 11
What is my plan for action? 12
What have I learned? 13
The ocean is a very important part of our Earth. It covers 72% of the Earth’s surface.
Because of this, it is important that we look after it properly to preserve it for our
This project looks at the different types of water that we have and how they are
formed and fed. In particular, this project focuses on the Earth’s oceans and:
how the oceans were made;
pH levels and what they mean;
how much salt water there really is;
if we can generate power from the oceans;
if our oceans are sustainable;
what might happen to our oceans in the future;
whatwe can do as a community to help the oceans; and
what my plan for action is.
What are the different types of water?
There are nine different types of water. They are:
1. ocean water;
2. lake water;
3. river water;
4. swamp water;
5. treated water;
6. untreated water;
7. rain water;
8. waste water; and
9. grey water.
Oceans are huge bodies of salt water that cover 71% of the Earth. Did you know that
we have only explored 3% of the oceans vast underwater land.
Lakes are large bodies of water. Lakes are fed by rivers, rain and run off from the
River wateris a source of water we heavily rely on for drinking water. Unfortunately
we can only drink this water once it has been treated. This is due to bacteria in the
water such as giardia, salmonella, hepatitis A, cryptosporidium, E coli, copper,
legionella, norovirus, shigella and campylobacter. These are all common in NZ.
River water is Wellington’s main source of water and is treated in a water treatment
plant in Te Marua, Upper Hutt.
Swamps are areas of low-lying marsh.
Treated water is water that has been cleaned by a water treatment plant. This water
can come from rain, rivers or catchment areas.
Untreated water is from rain, rivers, lakes or catchment areas that has not yet been
Rain is water that has evaporated from water sources like the ocean. When it
reaches the upper atmosphere it condenses into water droplets that join together to
form clouds. When the clouds become too saturated with water it falls as rain.
Waster water is used water that comes from our toilets.
Grey water is used water from your showers, basins, baths etc.
How was the ocean made?
Four billion years ago our home, the earth, was just a burning ball of molten rock
with absolutely no life forms or oxygen. When it was in this stage there was not even
a trace of water on earth. Comets and asteroid’s brought with them tiny molecules
of water and gasses.
Some of these gasses are:
1. methane (CH3);
3. water vapour (H2O);
4. carbon dioxide (CO2)
The water vapour the comets brought eventually became heavy enough that it
rained down on the land, but only after the temperature of the earth had cooled to
below 100 degrees celsius.
The water from the rain collected in the lower areas of the earth once the earth had
hardened and started to create the oceans we have today.
As it rained, the water ran over rocks and mixed with minerals. One of these was
salt, and this is the reason the ocean today is salty.
pH levels measure the acidity or alkaline in things. The pH scale is from 0-14, with 7
being neutral. Lower numbers are considered acidic and higher numbers are basic or
PH measurements are important for medicine, biology, chemistry, agriculture,
forestry, food science, environmental science, oceanography, civil engineering,
chemical engineering, water treatment and water purification.
Some examples of PH levels are in the following table:
Battery acid 0
Lemon juice 2
Black coffee 5
Pure water 7
Sea water 8
Baking soda 9
Research shows that the level of PH in our oceans is rapidly changing. In particular
there has been being a recent drop of surface PH.
Since the beginning of industrial factories (1800’s) fossil fuel powered machines have
been pumping out billions of tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other green house
gasses into the earth’s atmosphere.
Unfortunately over time these chemicals have been absorbed into the sea. While
bad for the ocean this is beneficial to us because it is slowing down the climate
When CO2 dissolves into the ocean it becomes carbonic acid. This causes higher
acidity levels, mainly near the surface. Over the last 300 million years, the PH level
has dropped 0.1 PH units and is on an average of 8.2, representing a 25% increase
over the past 200 years.
This means that it is harder for planktonic organisms that need calcium carbonate to
form their shells. This would effect the ecosystem because some bigger organisms
rely on these for food and without food that organism would die then so would the
organism that eats that would also die causing a catastrophic drop in marine life.
With fewer of these photosynthetic organisms that live on the surface of the water
less carbon will be converted to oxygen and the green house gasses would continue
How much salt water is there?
Salt water covers approximately 72% of the Earth’s surface. This salt water is divided
into several main oceans and smaller seas.
The ocean contains 97% of the Earth's water, and oceanographers have stated that
only 5% of the oceans have been explored.
The total volume of salt water in our oceans is approximately 1.3 billion cubic
kilometres with an average depth of 3,682m.
How can we generate power from the
There are 3 ways we can generate power from the ocean:
1. wave power;
2. tidal power; and
3. ocean thermal energy conversion (O.T.E.C)
We capture the up and down or back and forth movement of the waves. This
movement causes friction, likewise to the energy that drives a piston or spins a
turbine. There are three basic systems- float systems, that drive hydraulic pumps;
channel systems, that funnel the waves into reservoirs; and column systems, that
use the waves to compress air within a container. Some places already use this
method to power lighthouses or warning buoys.
In order to use tidal power you need to trap water at high tide and then catch its
energy as it rushes out at low tide. Tides are driven entirely by the gravitational pull
of the moon. This of source of power is an off energy resource while thermal energy
is quite constant. Another difference between tidal and thermal power is that tidal
(or wave) power usually relies on mechanical devices. Typically a barrage (or dam) is
used to transform the energy in the ocean into electricity. This is done by forcing
water through turbines, which activates the generator.
Ocean thermal energy conversion
We can generate energy using thermal power. This is where you use the differences
in temperature between the deep water (which has a colder temperature) and the
surface water (which has a warmer temperature) and draw out the energy from the
flow of heat between the 2. A station in Hawaii is experimenting with this and hopes
to one day produce this on a large scale around the world and sell it at a similar price
to the energy we have today.
Are our oceans sustainable?
Scientists predict that at the rate were going, entire islands will be submerged
because of rising oceans and global warming during our lifetime.
We are over fishing our oceans and there are too many boats chasing too many fish.
We are hauling up fish faster than the fish can reproduce and already whole
populations are on the brink of extinction. Can you believe that over 3,000,000
whales, dolphins and porpoises are caught in nets every year! Turtles sharks and
other unwanted fish are caught in nets and then just thrown overboard dead or
already dying. This is called bycatch. This bycatch can account for as much as 90% of
a fishers haul and 89% don’t make it back alive. We could be destroying a new
species of fish before we’ve even described and recorded. People are taking unfair
amounts of fish and putting species of fishin danger and at risk of extinction
There is a rubbish island as big as Afghanistan just floating in the ocean. This is
because the natural currents push the rubbish that is in the ocean to this pile of
floating rubbish where it just stays forever or until some one picks it up or until it
What might happen to our oceans in the
Methane gas has been found under methane hydrate beneath the ocean floor and if
global warming continues to get worse, this methane hydrate will unfreeze and
release methane gas, which will only make ocean warming worse.
An increase in the temperature of the water will have horrible affects on the ocean.
One of the more obvious effects will be on the coral. The delicate coral reefs around
the world will all lose their colour and die. This is because they have a certain
temperature they thrive between and this is very small that is between 26 and 27
degrees celsius. The reason a coral starts to bleach is due to a loss of 60-90% of their
“zooxanthellae”. They lose their “zooxanthellae” due to negative factors such as a
rise in the temperature of the ocean. If the bleaching continues for a long period of
time, the coral will die.
Although yet to be unconfirmed, there is a theory that algal blooms may grow
bigger, and become more toxic. These algal blooms have big effects on not just the
marine eco system, by killing sea animals and fish, but on us humans to. Some of the
algal blooms need oxygen to thrive, there for lowering the level of the oxygen
around us and in the water. It is important that we notify the harmful effects and put
a stop to them before it’s to late.
How can we, as a community,help?
If our whole community gets involved, we could arrange working bees to pick up
rubbish, we could all stop littering and we could give speeches to other communities
to get them involved as well.
These are some other ideas to help:
1. we could start a community recycling programme;
2. we could start a community car-pooling system, this helps because CO2
(comes from factories and car exhausts) sinks into the ocean and pollutes it;
3. clean up rubbish along the river;
4. collect aluminium cans and collect the recycling money then donate that
money to the charity this helps because not as many cans will end up in the
ocean, as they do not biodegrade; and
5. create posters about picking up rubbish with classmates and post them
around the school.
What is my plan for action?
My plan for action is to pick up any rubbish I see and to raise community awareness
by sticking up posters about how we can look after the oceans.
I will pick up any rubbish I see because it could end up in the oceans.
When I am older and have my own car I will leave my car at home at least once a
week so that not as much CO2 gets released into the atmosphere and absorbed into
Here are some other things YOU could do to help:
1. use less plastic -if you use less plastic there is less chance of it ending up in
2. reduce your energy usage -use less fossil fuelby car-poolingand inflate your
car tyres regularly;
3. keep your beach clean - please don’t flush your cotton buds down the toilet
as they too will eventually end up in the sea and are one of the main sources
of litter on our beaches. You could also help by joining in on a beach clean up
or even organize one yourself;
4. watch what your washing down the drain -use biodegradable washing
powders and chemical-free gardening or household products;
5. be an ocean friendly pet owner - never ever flush kitty litter down the drain
and avoid buying wild caught saltwater fish for your pets to eat;
6. be a responsible traveller – avoid buying coral jewellery, tortoiseshell hair
accessory’s, and shark or other endangered marine species products; and
7. join Greenpeace!! -Greenpeace loves volunteers. You could help out and give
your part back to the ocean by taking part in a Greenpeace activities or
donating money to Greenpeace so they can continue to look after the planet
and its oceans.
What have I learned?
I have learned lots about the ocean and found this project really interesting.
I have learnedlots about PH levels and the PH scale. I didn’t even know what “PH”
I have learnedaboutthe different ways of generating power from the ocean.
I also learnt about things we could do to help protect and look after our oceans.
I think that the ocean is very important to preserve so that future generations can
enjoy it, continue using it for a source of food, and learn from it.
In summary the oceans are a very important part of our earth and without them we
PH levels are becoming more acidic because we are polluting the ocean.This isbad
because if they continue to drop it will be harder for planktonic organisms to grow
therefore disrupting the marine ecosystem.
The earth is 72% water and covers most of the earth and is a huge part of our
ecosystem. The ocean was formed when asteroids crashed into the earth carrying
water vapour. The water vapour eventually became heavy enough to become rain
that rained down to make the oceans.
We can use three methods to generate power from the ocean. The first iswave
power. For this you capture the up and down or back and forth movement of the
waves. This causes friction that then creates power.
The next method is tidal power.In order to use tidal power you need to trap water at
high tide and then catch its energy as it rushes out at low tide. This is done by forcing
the water through turbines as it rushes down at low tide this activates the generator.
The next is thermal power.This is where you use the differences in temperature
between the deep water (which has a colder temperature) and the surface water
(which has a warmer temperature) and draw out the energy from the flow of heat
between the 2. A station in Hawaii is experimenting with this and hopes to one day
produce this on a large scale around the world and sell it at a similar price to the
energy we have today.
Methane gas could be released into the ocean in the future. This would result in a
rise in the temperature of the ocean. This would have an impact on the coral reefs
because they can’t handle warmer temperatures.
Coral reefs release zooxanthellae into the water when they are under stress
contributing to the levels of acidity in the water. The reason they release this
zooxanthellae is because of the rising temperature of the ocean.
In the future, algal blooms may grow bigger, and become more toxic. Scientists
believe this is also related to climate change and changes in the temperature of the
oceans. These algal blooms have big effects on not just the marine eco system, by
killing sea animals and fish, but on us humans to. Some of the algal blooms need
oxygen to thrive, therefore lowering the level of the oxygen around us and in the
If our whole community gets involved we can protect the oceans. We can do this by
picking up lots if rubbish so it won't go in the ocean. We could start a community
car-pooling system, this helps because CO2 (comes from factories and car exhausts)
sinks into the ocean and pollutes it. We can clean up rubbish along the Hutt River so
that it won’t end up in the ocean.
We can watch what we wash down the drain. We canuse biodegradable washing
powders and chemical free gardening or household products so that the ocean
doesn’t get filled with chemicals.
We could collect aluminium cans and donate the recycling money to Greenpeace.
This would help in two ways; it wouldstop so many cans ending up in the ocean and
it would help Greenpeace to continue running.
Algal blooms- a rapid growth of microscopic algae or cyanobacteria in water, often
resulting in a coloured scum on the surface.
Campylobacter- a bacterium which may cause abortion in animals and food
poisoning in humans.
Copper- a red-brown metal, the chemical element of atomic number 29.
Cryptosporidium- a parasitic coccidian protozoan found in the intestinal tract of
many vertebrates, where it sometimes causes disease.
E coli- a bacterium commonly found in the intestines of humans and other animals,
some strains of which can cause severe food poisoning.
Environmental science- ecology: the branch of biology concerned with the relations
between organisms and their environment.
Fossil fuel- a natural fuel such as coal or gas, formed in the geological past from the
remains of living organisms.
Giardia- a suspected cause of diarrhea in humans.
Gravitational pull- Gravitation, or gravity, is a natural phenomenon by which all
physical bodies attract each other. It is most commonly experienced as the agent
that gives weight to objects with mass and causes them to fall to the ground when
Salmonella- a bacterium that occurs mainly in the gut, especially a serotype causing
Hepatitis A- a form of viral hepatitis transmitted in food, causing fever and jaundice.
Legionella- the bacterium which causes legionnaires' disease, flourishing in air
conditioning and central heating systems.
Methane hydrate - Methane clathrate, also called methane hydrate, hydromethane,
methane ice, fire ice, natural gas hydrate, or gas hydrate, is a solid clathrate
compound in which a large amount of methane is trapped within a crystal structure
of water, forming a solid similar to ice.
Norovirus- any of various single-stranded RNA viruses comprising the Norwalk virus.
Oceanography- the branch of science that deals with the physical and biological
properties and phenomena of the sea.
pH scale- pH: (from potential of Hydrogen) the logarithm of the reciprocal of
hydrogen-ion concentration in gram atoms per litre; provides a measure on a scale
from 0 to 14 of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution (where 7 is neutral and greater
than 7 is more basic and less than 7 is more acidic).
Planktonic-of or relating to plankton.
Shigella-a bacterium that is an intestinal pathogen of humans and other primates,
some kinds of which cause dysentery.
Upper atmosphere- Near space is the region of Earth's atmosphere that lies
between 65,000 and 325,000–350,000 feet above sea level, encompassing the
stratosphere, mesosphere, and the lower thermosphere. This is above where
airliners fly but below orbiting satellites.
Zooxanthellae- a yellowish-brown symbiotic dinoflagellate present in large numbers
in the cytoplasm of many marine invertebrates.
How did the Oceans
Form,http://people.chem.duke.edu/~jds/cruise_chem/oceans/ocean1.html, 10 April
Albert Norström,Why do Oceans Matter? 10 June 2011,
matter, 8 April 2014
Fraser Cain, What Precent of Earth is Water? 31 May 2010,
http://www.universetoday.com/65588/what-percent-of-earth-is-water/, 3 April
National Geographic Society, Ocean Acidification,
1 April 2014
National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Department of Energy,
Greenpeace, Fit for the Future
11 April 2014
11 April 2014
Greenpeace, Things you can do,
11 April 2014