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Universal Solvent
o Water is the solvent of Life!
o Solute substance dissolved in a solvent to form a solution
o Solvent fluid that dissolves solutes
o Example: Ice Tea water is the solvent and tea and sugar the
Properties of Water
o cohesion = water attracted to other water molecules because
of polar properties
o adhesion = water attracted to other materials
o surface tension = water is pulled together creating the
smallest surface area possible
o Capillary Action = Because water has both adhesive and
cohesive properties, capillary action is present. Capillary
Action = waters adhesive property is the cause of capillary
action. Water is attracted to some other material and then
through cohesion, other water molecules move too as a result
of the original adhesion.
Ex: Think water in a straw
Ex: Water moves through trees this way
o High Heat Capacity = In order to raise the temperature of
water, the average molecular speed has to increase. It takes
much more energy to raise the temperature of water compared
to other solvents because hydrogen bonds hold the water
molecules together! Water has a high heat capacity. The
specific heat is the amount of heat per unit mass required to
raise the temperature by one degree Celsius.
o Density = Water is less dense as a solid! This is because the
hydrogen bonds are stable in ice each molecule of water is
bound to four of its neighbors.
Solid water molecules are bonded together space
between fixed
Liquid water molecules are constantly bonding and
rebounding space is always changing
The ocean moderates coastal temperatures
o Water has high heat capacity, so it can absorb (or release) large
quantities of heat without changing temperature, Moderates coastal
o Salinity = total amount of solid material dissolved in water
o Can be determined by measuring water conductivity
o Typically expressed in parts per thousand ()
Constituents of ocean salinity
o Average seawater salinity = 35
o Main constituents of ocean salinity:

o Chloride (Cl)
o Sodium (Na+)
o Sulfate (SO42)
o Magnesium (Mg2+)
Processes affecting seawater salinity
o Processes that decrease seawater salinity:
Icebergs melting
Sea ice melting
o Processes that increase seawater salinity:
Sea ice forming
Surface salinity variation
o Pattern of surface salinity:
Lowest in high latitudes
Highest in the tropics
Dips at the Equator
Surface processes help explain pattern
o High latitudes have low surface salinity
High precipitation and runoff
Low evaporation
o Tropics have high surface salinity
High evaporation
Low precipitation
o Equator has a dip in surface salinity
High precipitation partially offsets high evaporation
Seawater density
o Factors affecting seawater density:
Temperature , Density (inverse relationship)
Salinity , Density
Pressure , Density
o Temperature has the greatest influence on surface seawater density
All freshwater comes from two sources:
Lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams
ALL water above ground
Most urban areas rely on surface
Supply resources and allow for

Water that seeps below ground
Some is taken up and used plants
Large amounts found in
underground rock formations called

Surface water movement: Water Cycle

o Earths water supply is constantly recycled
o 1) Runoff

Water flowing down slope along Earths surface or seep into the
Run off speed determined by slope of the hill
Ends up in a stream or lake, evaporate, or accumulate into
Seep into ground
o Ground must have large enough pores loose soil
Fate of water: Run off or Seep
o Certain characteristics will determine whether not water will either
seep into or become runoff
o 1) Vegetation
Vegetation allows for loose soil
Loose soil allows water to enter ground
Gardeners do not pack their soil
o 2) Rate of precipitation
soil clumps together closing pores
Fills up ground to quickly and water becomes runoff
allows water to gently slide through
Less erosion
o 3) Soil Composition
Effects the waters holding capacity
Decayed organic matter (humus)
Creates the pores in soil Increases retain ability
Clay fine mineral which clump together
o Few Spaces
Sand large pores
o 4) Slopes
Steep: allows for high runoff & little absorption
Little: low runoff and high absorption
Formation of Stream systems
o Runoff
o Surface water flows in thin sheets and eventually collects in small
o Runoff increases, channels widen and become deeper and longer
o Channels fill up again each time with rain
o Channel can become a stream
o Water sheds:
drainage basin
Land where all water drains into
o Divide
High land area that separates watersheds

Stream Load
o All the materials that the stream carries
o Solution
Material that has been dissolved
Depends on area where the steam runs through
Erosion of rocks and dirt
o Suspension
Small particles held up by the turbulence of stream
Clay, silt, sand
Depends on volume and velocity of water
o Bed Load
Turbulence of water pushes heavy things
Pebbles and cobbles
Larger velocity large objects
B/c of abrasion, rocks are smooth
Stream Velocity & Carrying Capacity
o Discharge = width x depth x velocity
o As discharge increases so does carrying capacity
o Water fills over the sides of a stream banks
o Floodplain: broad flat area of land that extends out from streams for
excess flooding

Freshwater Ecosystem

Characteristics of a Freshwater Ecosystem

o Slow moving waters
o Low dissolved salt
o Plant and animal life depends on depth of water, rate of flow, and
amounts of nutrients, sunlight, and oxygen
o Include lakes, ponds, rivers, and wetlands
o Slow moving waters
o Low dissolved salt
o Plant and animal life depends on depth of water, rate of flow, and
amounts of nutrients, sunlight, and oxygen
o Include lakes, ponds, rivers, and wetlands
o START in mountainous regions
Shallow beds
Highly oxygenated
o A rivers characteristics changes with geography, climate, and the
runoff from nearby developments
o Covered in water at least part of the year
o Trap and fix carbon
o Control flooding and absorb extra water when other bodies overflow
o Produce commercial products like seafood and berries (bogs)