Systems & Cycles

Two Most Abundant Ions in the Ocean
Sodium (Na+) and Chloride (Cl-)
Upwelling currents in the ocean are caused by
Displacement of offshore surface water by  wind across currents
Global Thermohaline System
Driven by sinking of cold, dense sea water in the North Atlantic, near Greenland
<1%
Percentage of Earth’s water readily accessible for human consumption
Problems typically associated with withdrawal of groundwater resources

* Falling Water tables

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* Seawater intrusion

*Land surface subsidences

Saltwater Intrusion
The movement of salt water from marine aquifers into freshwater supplies
Subsidence
the process by which sinkholes are formed as a result of water withdrawal from an aquifer
Single largest indoor use of water in a home
the TOILET
Watershed
a surface region feeding runoff into a single drainage system
Controls atmospheric CO2 concentrations over geologic timescales (millions of years)
Subduction and volcanic release of CO2 from limestone
Irrigation/Agriculture
The latrgest consumptive use for water in the use
Ways to decrease residential water use

*Turn water off in shower when lathering up

*Fix leaky pipes

*Turn water off when shaving/brushingteeht/washing face

*Water lawn only when absolutley necessary

Ogalla Aquifer
Most extensively pumped aquifer in the U.S.
Reasons for Dams

* Help Control Flooding

*Hydroelectricity

Potential problems with dams
*Ecosystems are thrown off wack
basic tenets (assumptions) of science

*Events follow patterns or result from causes that can be understood

*The rules or laws of nature are the same throughout the universe

*generalizations can be tested and disproved if untrue. If no test is possible, the generalization is unscientific

The age of the earth
4,600,000,000
The age of the universe
13,700,000,000
How was the age of the earth determined?
Through radiometric age detrminations of meteorites and moon rocks
Evidence for “Big Bang”

*The oldest observable galaxies are more strongly red-shifted than younger ones

*Observable galaxies are mostly moving away from our position, in all directions

*All of space is filled with low-energy microwave background radiation, left over from the violence of cosmic explosion

Stellar fusion process and the eruption of supernovas
The origin of chemical elements more masssive then Hydrogen
Solar System Formation
Accretion fo the sun and plantes from a collapsing, rotating solar nebula
The earth’s magnetic field is
the driving force for the plate tectonic system on earth
Himilayan mountains
modern example of tectonic continent-continent collision
Examples of Theories (using the scientific definition)

*The Heliocentric Theory

*The Germ Theory of Disease

*The Theory of Biological Evolution

Experiments
Test hypothesis
Occam’s Razor
If you have two ways of stating a hypothesis, one complicated and one more simple – but they both say the same thing, choose the simpler one.
CH20
Oxidized during aerobic respiration
Often limiting nutrients in aquatic ecosystems
Nitrogen and Phosphorous
Food Waste
Has the Highest BOD
Results of Cultural Eutrophication

*Drawdown of dissolved oxygen

*fishies killed

*loss of submerged aquatic vegetation

*stimulation of toxic algal blooms

Anthropogenic source of phosphorous to surface waters

*Fertilizer
*Detergents

*Sewage Discharge

*Feedlots

The gas phase of phosphorus is when…
Phosphorus primarily transported near surface environment
Ad Hominem
An argument that attempts to counter anothers claims by attacking the person rather than the argument
Ad Ignorantiam
The argument that a specific belief is true because we don’t know that it isn’t true
Argument from authority
stating that a claim is ture because a person/group of perceived authority says it’s true
Argument from final consequences

arguments are based on a reversal fo cause and effect

ex: god must exist because otherwise life would have no meaning

Argument from Personal Incredulity
I can’t explain or understand this therefore it cannot be true
Confusing association with causation
it assumes cause and effect for two variables simply because they are cooreated although the relationship is not strictly of one variable following the other in time
Reductio ad absurdum
if the premises are assumed to be true, it necessarily leads to a false conclusion and therefore one or more premises must be false.  Ex: if i am skeptical about the existence of alien visitors, i must also be skeptical about the great wall of chine, since i have not personally seen either
Slippery Slope
A  position is not consistent or tenable because accepting the position means that the extreme of the position must also be accepted. but moderate positinos do not necessarily lead down the slippery slope to the extreme
Special Pleading / Ad Hoc Reasoning
The arbitrary introductin of new elements into an argument in order to fix them so that they appear valid. Ex: dismissal of negative test results
Straw Man
Arguing against a position that you create specifically to be easy to argue against, rather than the position actually held by those who oppose your point of view
Tautology
argument that utilizes circular reaoning, which means that the conclusion is lso its own premise A=B
The moving goalpost
A method of denial arbitrarily moving the criteria for “proof” or acceptance out of range of whatever evidence currently exists
Tu Quoque
This is an attempt to justify wrong action because someone else also does it
Unstated major premise (begging the question)
Occurs when one makes an argument that assumes a premise which is not explicitly stated
Burning Fossil Fuels Is…
The largest anthropogenic pathway of nitrogen fixation
This N compound is likely to be found in aqueous solutions
No3
2-7 days
The average residence time of SO2 produced by fossil-fule burning in the atmosphere
Ammonification
breakdown of organic matter to release ammonium
Hypoxia
Water that has less than 2 ppm oxygen
Environmental problems associated w/ anthropogenic perturbations of the global N biogeochemical cycle

Smog

Acid Rain

Eutrophication

Fossil Fuel Burning is…
Largest natural pathway of nitrogen fixation
Pfiesteria pisciado grew with tremendous stimulation in the Neuse Estuary, North Carolina because of…
Nitorgen and phosphorus from hog waste are believed to be the causes
Sulfur Dioxide emissions in the US are primarily caused by…
Coal burning
Natural Sources of Sulfur to the atmosphere

*Emission of; biogenic reduced S-gasses from the surface ocean

* Biomass burning

*Sea Salt Aerosols

*Volcanic Eruptions

Sulfate Ion (So4 -2)
Most abundant S-bearing dissolved chemical species in the ocean
5.6
pH for natural, unpolluted rainwater
Transportation/Automobiles
Primary antropogenic source of NOx to the atmosphere
Sulfide Mining can cause
acid mine drainage
FeS2 + 15/4O2 + 7/2 H20 = Fe(OH)3 + 2H+ + 2HSO4-2
Chemical Reaction illustrating the generation of mine drainage
Nitricacid or HNO3
Formed by nitrogen oxide compounds in the atmosphere
H2SO4
Formed by sulfur oxide compounds in the atmosphere oxidizing
CO2
Causes clean rainwater to become slightly acidic by dissoliving during precipitation
Aquatic animal life usually declines in acidified lakes, due to the toxic effects on gill functioin of what normally insoluble metal?
Aluminum
Acid deposition tends to be less of a problem in areas underlain by
limestone
Three potential problems associated with acid rain or acid deposition

*Loss of aquatic Life

*Dead Forests/ Ecosystem

*Stones and lawn decorations deteriorating

Science
Deals with things that can be tested by observation or disproved by evidence
Pseudoscience
Untestable or unrefutable
Ex: Homeopathy
Asumptions of Science

* Events follow patterns or results from causes that can be understood

*Rules from nature are the same throughout the univers;have always been

*Scientific reasoning is inductive: it begins with a specific observation ;extends to generalizations

*Generalizations can be tested ; disproved if untrue: if no test is possible, the generalization is unscientific

*New evidence can disprove theories, but absolute proof is impossible

Scientific Reasoning is used:

EVERYWHERE

Police work, Criminal investigation, medicine, law, engineering, etc.

Hypothesis
a testable or disprovable inference or assertion …an idea that hasn’t yet been tested
Theory
A model based on verifiable hypothesis, shown to be consistent w/ available data & observations and accepted as an explanation for some natural process
700,000,000 Years
Age of oldest multicellular fossil

65000000

 

Dinosaurs went extinct this many years ago
U-Pb Dating Techniques
Based on radioactive decay of 238U to 206Pb
“Big Bang”

Expansion of space-time, starting from a subatomic size

Did not expand INTO space, space ITSELF expanded
Initial high energy state, slowly cooled as space expanded

Evidence of “big Bang”

Galaxies are rushing away from us in all directions

Farther galaxies are moving faster

Farther away = longer ago//Ancient universe expanded faster than now

All of space is filled with a dim microwave radiation

That wavelength has expanded w/ space

Volcanic Gasses
CO2, N2, SO2, H2O
Runoff

Sruface flow to drainage channels

 

Watershed
Sruface region that feeds runoff into a single drainage system
Vadose (radose?) Zone
Region of the subsurface above the water table; not saturated with water – pores filled with air
Aquifers

Porous geological formation in the subsurface

Permeability dictates whether a rock formation can function as an aquifer

Impermeable Rocks

Shale, clay

 

Prevent infiltration of water

Poor aquifers

Aquitards

Permeable Rocks

Sandstone, Fractured Rocks

Limestone functions as high-capacity aquifers

Flux
Amount of water passing through a given area in a certain period of time
Distribution of Water on Earth

97.2% – Oceans

2.15% – Ice Sheets

.31% – Groundwater

.009% – Lakes

.001% – Atmosphere

.0001% – Rivers

Residence Time of Water on Earth

 

Oceans  – 1,000s (3550 avg) of years

Ice Sheets – 10,000 years +

Groundwater – 100s-1,000s of years

Lakes – 10s of years

Atmosphere – 9 Days

Riers – 2 Weeks

Residence Time

 

*The amount of time (avg.) that sonstituent spends in a given reservoir

**DIVIDE THE RESERVOIR SIZE BY THE FLUX**

EX: OCEANS: 13700 X 10^20 G / 3.8X10^20g/yr = 3605 Years

Water is distributed Heterogeneously
Some areas suffer from critical shortages whereas other areas have a surplus

Consumptive Water Use in the U.S.

 

84.3% – Agriculture

8.5% – Industry

7.2% – Domestic

Ways to Improve Agricultural Water Use

*Drip systems / low flow sprinklers

*Increase organic content of soils

*Reduce runoff: contour farming, strip corpping

*No till argriculture (less dry soil)

*Scheduled irrigation

*Recycling wastewater

*New crop varieties

*Changes in diets! (Less meat eaters)

Reducing Residential Water Use

*New Water Supply pipes

*High Efficiency Showerheads

*Install water efficient toilets

*turnoff water while brushing teeth/shaving

*Water down gardens conservatively

*Plant climate-appropriate vegitation

*Install rain catchwater system – collect water & use to irrigate

*Use gray water for irrigation

Impacts of excessive water use

*decreased river flow
*Aquifer water tables drop

*saltwater intrusion can occur

*can create land subsidence

*wetlands dry or decrease area / period of saturation

*threatens wildlife as well as agriculture

Adv. Of Dams

 

* Steady water supply

*generate electricity

*Control floods

*reservoirs create recreational opportunities

Disadv. of Dams

*Interrupt fish migration

*flooding destroys wildlife habitat

*displace human populations

*reduced waterflow allows saltwater intrusion into estuaries

*Decreased water flow decreases flow of nutrient rich sediments

*release of coldest water from bottom of reservoir influences fisheries

*Decreased water quality downstream

*Decreased water in river-fed water bodies

Aquifer Overuse Can Cause:

*Saltwater intrusion

*Land subsidence

Tectonics
Governs recycling of rock solid materials
Atmosphere
Medium for gas-phase transport

Oceans

 

predominant water reservoir on earth

Medium for dissolved chemical transport

Driving Tectonic Energy Source
Earth’s interion heat, from radioactive decay
Driving Energy Sources of Oceans/Atmosphere
Solar Radiation
OCEANIC STRUCTURE
Look this shit up in notes
Ocean Floor

Vast plain, essentially featurless geologically

exceptions: mid -ocean rift volcanic features, intraplate volcanic activities

Ocean Depth

Avg Depth: 3,700 meters

;

Ocean Water Temperature

;

Lowest is about -2 degrees C in polar waters

Equational surface waters can reach about 30degrees C

Ocean Salinity

~3.5% Salts by weight

Mostly NaCl

Na+, Cl-, SO42-, Ca2+, Mg2+, K+ make up 99% of dissolved ocean salt

N2

Dinitrogen

Most abundant component of atmosphere

Thermotaline Circulation

Density-driven

higher salinity = more dense

colder = more dense

dense saltwater sinks, pulls downward current to ocean floor

Creates closed loop “Conveyer Belt”

Climate Control – Millennial Timescales

Equilibrium between oceans and atmosphere of C02

*Carbon dioxide dissolves into ocean water

The more Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the more that dissolves into the water the more that dissolves into the oceans

Goverened by a chemical reaction

;

Slow. takes about 5000 years

Nitrogen Oxide (Gasses)

{NOx}

;

NO, NO2, N2O

Ammonia

NH3

;

Can dissolve in water to form ammonium (NH4+)