Surface Water

benthic zone
the region near the bottom of a pond, lake, or ocean
benthos
the organisms that live at the bottom of the sea or ocean
eutrophication
an increase in the amount of nutrients, such as nitrates, in a
marine or aquatic ecosystem
littoral zone
a shallow zone in a freshwater habitat where light reaches the
bottom and nurtures plants
nekton
all organisms that swim actively in open water, independent of currents
plankton
the mass of mostly microscopic organisms that float or drift freely in the
waters of aquatic (freshwater and marine) environments
wetland
an area of land that is periodically underwater or whose soil contains a
great deal of moisture
river system
a flowing network of rivers and streams draining a river basin
surface water
all the bodies of fresh water, salt water, ice, and snow that are
found above the ground
watershed
the area of land that is drained by a water system
dam
a structure that is built across a river to control a river’s flow
desalination
a process of removing salt from ocean
water
pathogen
a virus, microorganism, or other substance that causes disease; an
infectious agent
potable
suitable for drinking
reservoir
an artificial body of water that usually forms behind a dam
denitrification
the breaking down of organic nitrogen molecules so that it returns to atmospheric Nitrogen (N2)
nitrification
The fixing of Nitrogen into a form that can be used by most organisms
agriculture
the raising of crops and livestock for food or for other products that
are useful to humans
biodiversity
the variety of organisms in a given area, the genetic variation within
a population, the variety of species in a community, or the variety of
communities in an ecosystem
ecological footprint
a calculation that shows the productive area of Earth needed
to support one person in a particular country
ecology
the study of the interactions of living organisms with one another and
with their environment
Symbiosis
the relation between two different species of organisms that are interdependent; each gains benefits from the other
environmental science
science the study of the air, water, and land surrounding an
organism or a community, which ranges from a small area to Earth’s entire
biosphere; it includes the study of the impact of humans on the environment
law of supply and demand
a law of economics that states that as the demand for a
good or service increases, the value of the good or service also increases
natural resource
any natural material that is used by humans, such as water,
petroleum, minerals, forests, and animals
pollution
an undesirable change in the natural environment that is caused by the
introduction of substances that are harmful to living organisms or by excessive
wastes, heat, noise, or radiation
sustainability
the condition in which human needs are met in such a way that a
human population can survive indefinitely