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MODULE 7 THE HYDROSPHERE AND WATER POLLUTION 7.

1 Running Water and Ground Water


The Water Cycle  Water constantly moves among the oceans, the atmosphere, the solid Earth, and the biosphere. This unending circulation of Earth s water supply is the water cycle. Processes involved in the water cycle are: a. Precipitation b. Evaporation c. Infiltration the movement of surface water into rock or soil through cracks and pore spaces d. Runoff e. Transpiration the release of water into the atmosphere from plants through the ground. Earth s Water Balance  Balance in the water cycle means the average annual precipitation over Earth equals the amount of water that evaporates. Streamflow  The ability of a stream to erode and transport materials depends largely on its velocity.  Gradient is the slope or steepness of a stream channel.  Channel Characteristics  The stream channel is the course the water in a stream follows.  Shape, size, and roughness.  Discharge of a stream is the volume of water flowing past a certain point in a given unit of time.

Changes from Upstream to Downstream  While gradient decreases between a stream s headwaters and mouth, discharge increases. a. Profile  Cross-sectional view of a stream.  From head (source) to mouth.  Profile is a smooth curve.  Gradient decreases from the head to the mouth.  A tributary is a stream that empties into another stream.  Factors that increase downstream: - Velocity - Discharge - Channel size  Factors that decrease downstream: - Gradient or slope - Channel roughness b. Base Level  Lowest point to which a stream can erode.  Two general types: 1. Ultimate sea level 2. Temporary or local  A stream in a broad, flat-bottomed valley that is near its base level often develops a course with many bends called meanders. The Work of Streams a. Erosion  Streams generally erode their channels, lifting loose particles by abrasion, grinding, and by dissolving soluble material.

b. Deposition  A stream s bedloadis a solid material too large to carry in suspension.  The capacity of a stream is the maximum load it can carry.  Deposition occurs as streamflow drops below the crucial setting velocity of a certain particle size. The deposits are called alluvium.  Deltas are an accumulation of sediment formed where a stream enters a lake or ocean.  Natural levee parallels are stream and helps to contain its waters, except during floodstage. c. Stream Valleys 1. Narrow Valleys - A narrow V-shaped valley shows that the stream s primary work has been downcutting toward base level. - Features often include: - Rapids - Waterfalls 2. Wide Valleys - Stream is near base level. - Downward erosion is less dominant. - Stream energy is directed from side to side. - The floodpainis the flat, low-lying portion of a stream valley subject to periodic flooding. - Features often include: - Meanders - Cutoffs - Oxbow lakes

d. Floods and Flood Control  Flood occurs when the discharge of a stream becomes so great that it exceeds the capacity of its channel and overflows its banks.  Measures to control flooding include: - Artificial levees - Flood control dams - Placing limits on floodplain development e. Drainage Basins  Drainage basin is the land area that contributes water to a stream.  Divide is an imaginary line that separates the drainage basins of one stream from another. Distribution and Movement of Water Underground  Much of the water in soil seeps downward until it reaches the zone of saturation.  The zone of saturation is the area where water fills all of the open spaces in sediment and rock.  Ground water is the water within this zone.  Water table is the upper level of the saturation zone of groundwater. Movement  Groundwater moves by twisting and turning through interconnected small openings.  The groundwater moves slowly when the pore spaces are smaller.  Porosity the percentage of pore spaces. - Determines how much groundwater can be stored.  Permeability ability to transmit water through connected pore spaces.

Aquifers are permeable rock layers or sediments that transmit groundwater freely.

 

Springs  Forms whenever the water table intersects the ground surface.  Hot springs - Water is 6 to 9C warmer than the mean air temperature of the locality. - Water is heated by cooling of igneous rock.  Geysers - Intermittent hot springs. - Water turns to stream and erupts. Wells  Well is a hole bored into the zone of saturation.  An artesian well is any formation in which groundwater rises on its own under pressure.  Pumping can cause a drawdown (lowering) of the water table.  Pumping can form a cone of depression in the water table. Environmental Problems Associated with Groundwater  Overuse and contamination threatens groundwater supplies in some areas. - Treating it as non-renewable resource. - Land subsidence caused by its withdrawal. - Contamination Caverns  Cavern is a naturally formed underground chamber.  Erosion forms most caverns at or below the water table in the zone of saturation.

Travertine is a form of limestone that is deposited by hot springs or as a cave deposit. Characteristics of features found within caverns: - Formed in the zone of aeration. - Composed of dripstone. - Formed from calcite deposited as dripping water evaporates. - Common features include: stalactites (hanging from the ceiling) and stalagmites (growing upward from the floor).

Karst Topography  Formed by dissolving rock at, or near, Earth s surface.  Common features: a. Sinkholes - Surface depressions. - Form when bedrock dissolves and caverns collapse. - Caves and caverns. - Area lacks good surface drainage.

7.2 Ocean Water and Ocean Life


The Composition of Seawater Salinity is the total amount of solid material dissolved in water.  Because of the proportion of dissolved substances in seawater is such a small number, oceanographers typically express salinity in parts per thousands.  Most of the salt in seawater is sodium chloride, common table salt.  Sources of Sea Salt: a. Chemical weathering of rocks on the continents is one source of elements found in seawater. b. The second major source of elements found in seawater is from Earth s interior.

Processes Affecting Salinity: a. Processes that decrease salinity: - Precipitation - Sea ice melting - Icebergs melting - Runoff from land b. Processes that increase salinity: - Evaporation - Formation of sea ice

Ocean Temperature Variation  The ocean s surface water temperature varies with the amount of solar radiation received, which is primarily a function of latitude.  Temperature Variation with Depth - The thermocline is the layer of ocean water between about 300 metres and 1000 metres where there is a rapid change of temperature with depth. - The thermocline is a very important structure because it creates a barrier to marine life. Ocean Density Variation  Density is defined as mass per unit volume. It can be thought of as a measure of how heavy something is for its size.  Factors affecting seawater density: - Sea water density is influenced by two main factors: salinity and temperature.  Density Variation with Depth - The pycnoclineis the layer of ocean water between about 300 metres and 1000 metres where there is a rapid change of density with depth.

Ocean Layering  Oceanographers generally recognise a three-layered structure in most parts of the open ocean: 1. Surface Zone - Shallow (300 to 450 metres). - Zone of mixing. - Sun-warmed zone. 2. Transition zone - Between surface layer and deep zone. - Thermocline and pycnocline. 3. Deep zone - Sunlight never reaches this zone. - Temperatures are just a few degrees above freezing. - Constant high-density water. Classification of Marine Organisms Marine organismscan be classified according to where they live and how they move. a. Plankton include all organisms (algae, animals, and bacteria), that drift with ocean currents. y Phytoplankton are algal plankton, which are the most important community of primary producers in the ocean. y Zooplankton are animal plankton. b. Nekton include all animals capable of moving independently of the ocean currents, by swimming or other means or propulsion. c. Benthos describes organisms living on or in the ocean bottom.

Marine Life Zones  Three factors are used to divide the ocean into distinct marine life zones:the availability of sunlight, the distance from the shore, and the water depth. a. Availability of Sunlight  Photic zone is the upper part of the ocean into which sunlight penetrates. b. Distance from Shore  Intertidal zone is the strip of land where the land and ocean meet and overlap, or the zone between high and low tides.  Neritic zone is the marine-life zone that extends from the low-tide line out to the shelf break.  Oceanic zone is the marine-life zone beyond the continental shelf. c. Water Depth  Pelagic zone is open zone of any depth. Animals in this zone swim or float freely.  Benthic zone is the marine-life zone that includes any sea-bottom surface regardless of its distance from shore.  Abyssal zone is a subdivision of the benthic zone characterised by extremely high pressures, low temperatures, low oxygen, few nutrients, and no sunlight. Hydrothermal Vents - This is where the seawater seeps into the ocean floor through cracks in the crust. - At some vents, water temperatures of 100C or higher support communities of organisms found nowhere else in the world.

Oceanic Productivity a. Primary productivity is the production of organic compounds from inorganic substances through photosynthesis or chemosynthesis. b. Photosynthesis is the use of light energy to convert water and carbon dioxide into energy-rick glucose molecules. c. Chemosynthesis is the process by which certain microorganisms create organic molecules from inorganic nutrients using chemical energy. Primary Productivity  Productivity in Polar Oceans - The low availability of solar energy limits photosynthetic productivity in polar areas.  Productivity in Tropical Oceans - Productivity in tropical regions is limited by the lack of nutrients.  Productivity in Temperate Oceans - In temperate regions, which are found at midlatitudes, a combination of these two limiting factors, sunlight and nutrient supply, controls productivity. - During winter: low productivity; days are short and sun angle is low. - During spring: limited productivity; spring bloom of phytoplankton is quickly depleted. - During summer: strong thermocline develops so surface nutrients are not replaced from below; phytoplankton population remains relatively low. Oceanic Feeding Relationships a. Trophic Levels - A trophic level is a nourishment level in a food chain. Plant and algae producers constitute the

lowest level, followed by herbivores and a series of carnivores at progressively higher levels. b. Transfer Efficiency - The transfer energy between trophic levels is very inefficient. c. Food Chains and Food Webs - A food chain is a sequence of organisms through which energy is transferred, starting with the primary producer. - A food web is a group of interrelated food chains. - Animals that feed through a food web rather than a food chain are more likely to survive because they have alternative foods to eat should one of their food sources diminish or disappear.

Upwelling is the rise of cold water from deeper layers to replace warmer surface water. - Upwelling brings greater concentrations of dissolved nutrients, such as nitrates and phosphates, to the ocean surface.

7.3 The Dynamic Ocean


Surface Circulation  Ocean current is the mass of ocean water that flows from one place to another.  Surface currents are movements of water that flow horizontally in the upper part of the ocean s surface. - Develop from friction between the ocean and the wind that blows across its surface.  Gyres are huge circular-moving current systems that dominate the surfaces of the oceans.  The Corioliseffect is the deflection of currents away from their original course as a result of Earth s rotation.  Ocean Currents and Climate - When currents from low-latitude regions move into higher latitudes, they transfer hate from warmer to cooler areas on Earth. - As cold water currents travel toward the equator, they help moderate the warm temperatures of adjacent land areas.

Deep Ocean Circulation  Density Currents are vertical currents of ocean water that result from density differences among water masses. - An increase in seawater density can be caused by a decrease in temperature or an increase in salinity.  High Latitudes most water involved in deep-ocean currents begin in high latitudes at the surface.  Evaporation density currents can also result from increased salinity of ocean water due to evaporation.  Conveyor Belt in a simplified model, ocean circulation is similar to a conveyor belt that travels from the Atlantic Ocean, through the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and back again. Waves and Tides Wave Characteristics:  Most ocean waves obtain their energy and motion from the wind.  Wave height is the vertical distance between the trough and crest.  Wave length is the horizontal distance between two successive crests or two successive troughs.  Wave period is the time it takes one full wave one wavelength to pass a fixed position.  Fetch is the distance that the wind has travelled across open water.

The height, length, and period that are eventually achieved by a wave depend on three factors: 1. Wind speed 2. Length of time the wind has blown 3. Fetch Wave Motion circular orbital motion allows energy to move forward through the water while the individual water particles that transmit the wave move around in circle. Breaking Waves - Changes occur as a wave moves onto shore. - As the waves touch bottom, wave speed decreases. - The decrease in wave speed results in a decrease in wavelength and an increase in wave height.

Tidal Patterns Three main tidal patterns exist worldwide: 1. Diurnal tides 2. Semidiurnal tides 3. Mixed tides Forces Acting on the Shoreline  Beach is the accumulation of sediment found along the shore of a lake or ocean.  Waves along the shoreline are constantly eroding, transporting, and depositing sediment. Many types of shoreline features can result from this activity. a. Wave Impact  The impact of large, high-energy waves against the shore can be awesome in its violence. Each breaking wave may hurl thousands of tons of water against the land, sometimes causing the ground totremble. b. Abrasion  Abrasion is the sawing and grinding action of rock fragments in the water.  Abrasion is probably more intense in the surf zone than in any other environment. c. Wave Refraction  Wave refraction is the bending of waves, and it plays an important part in the shoreline process.  Because of refraction, wave energy is concentrated against the sides and ends of headlands that project into the water, whereas wave action is weakened in bays. d. Longshore Transport  Longshore current is a near-shore current that flows parallel to the shore.

Tides 

Tides are daily changes in the elevation of the ocean surface. - Ocean tides result from the gravitational attraction exerted upon Earth by the moon and, to a lesser extent, by the sun. Tide-Causing Forces - The force that produces tides is gravity.

Tide Cycle  Tidal range is the difference in height between successive high and low tides.  Spring tides are tides that have the greatest tidal range due to the alignment of the Earth-moon-sun system.  Neap tides are tides that have the lowest tidal range, occurring near the times of the first-quarter and thirdquarter phases of the moon.

Turbulence allows longshore currents to easily move fine suspended sand and to roll larger sand and gravel particles along the bottom.

Tombolo is a ridge of sand that connects an island to the mainland or to another island.

Erosional Features  Shoreline features that originate primarily from the work of erosion are called erosional features.  Sediment that is transported along the shore and deposited in areas where energy is low produces depositional features. a. Wave-Cut Cliffs and Platforms  Wave-cut cliffs result from the cutting action of the surf against the base of coastal land. A flat, benchlike, wave-cut platform forms in front of the wavecut cliff. b. Sea Arches and Sea Stacks  When two caves on opposite sides of a headland unite, a sea arch results. Eventually, the arch falls in, leaving an isolated remnant, or sea stack, on the wave-cut platform. Depositional Features a. Spits, Bars, and Tombolos  Where longshore currents and other surf zone currents are active, several features related to the movement of sediment along the shore may develop.  Spit is an elongated ridge of sand that projects from the land into the mouth of an adjacent bay.  Baymouth bar is a sandbar that completely crosses a bay.

b. Barrier Islands are narrow sandbars parallel to, but separate from, the coast at distances from 3 to 30 kilometres offshore. Stabilising the Shore  Protective Structures goins, breakwaters, and seawalls are some structures built to protect a coast from erosion or to prevent the movement of sand along a beach.  Beach Nourishment is the addition of large quantities of sand to the beach system.