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Investigation : investigating the hydrosphere

  1. For this exercise, you can choose any part of the hydrosphere that you would like to explore. This may be a rock pool, a lake, river, wetland or even just a small pond. The guidelines below will apply best to a river investigation, but you can ask similar questions and gather similar data in other areas. When choosing your study site, consider how accessible it is (how easy is it to get to?) and the problems you may experience (e.g. tides, rain).
  2. Your teacher will provide you with the equipment you need to collect the following data. You should have at least one study site where you will collect data, but you might decide to have more if you want to compare your results in different areas. This works best in a river, where you can choose sites down its length.
    1. Chemical data Measure and record data such as temperature, pH, conductivity and dissolved oxygen at each of your sites. You may not know exactly what these measurements mean right now, but it will become clearer later.
    2. Hydrological data Measure the water velocity of the river and observe how the volume of water in the river changes as you move down its length. You can also collect a water sample in a clear bottle, hold it to the light and see whether the water is clear or whether it has particles in it.
    3. Biological data What types of animals and plants are found in or near this part of the hydrosphere? Are they specially adapted to their environment?
    Record your data in a table like the one shown below:
    Site 1 Site 2 Site 3
    Dissolved oxygen
    Animals and plants
  3. Interpreting the data Once you have collected and recorded your data, think about the following questions:
    • How does the data you have collected vary at different sites?
    • Can you explain these differences?
    • What effect do you think temperature , dissolved oxygen and pH have on animals and plants that are living in the hydrosphere?
    • Water is seldom 'pure'. It usually has lots of things dissolved (e.g. Mg 2 + , Ca 2 + and NO 3 - ions) or suspended (e.g. soil particles, debris) in it. Where do these substances come from?
    • Are there any human activities near this part of the hydrosphere? What effect could these activities have on the hydrosphere?

The importance of the hydrosphere

It is so easy sometimes to take our hydrosphere for granted and we seldom take the time to really think about the role that this part of the planet plays in keeping us alive. Below are just some of the very important functions of water in the hydrosphere:

  • Water is a part of living cells Each cell in a living organism is made up of almost 75% water, and this allows the cell to function normally. In fact, most of the chemical reactions that occur in life, involve substances that are dissolved in water. Without water, cells would not be able to carry out their normal functions and life could not exist.
  • Water provides a habitat The hydrosphere provides an important place for many animals and plants to live. Many gases (e.g. CO 2 , O 2 ), nutrients e.g. nitrate ( NO 3 - ), nitrite ( NO 2 - ) and ammonium ( NH 4 + ) ions, as well as other ions (e.g. Mg 2 + and Ca 2 + ) are dissolved in water. The presence of these substances is critical for life to exist in water.
  • Regulating climate One of water's unique characteristics is its high specific heat . This means that water takes a long time to heat up and also a long time to cool down. This is important in helping to regulate temperatures on earth so that they stay within a range that is acceptable for life to exist. Ocean currents also help to disperse heat.
  • Human needs Humans use water in a number of ways. Drinking water is obviously very important, but water is also used domestically (e.g. washing and cleaning) and in industry. Water can also be used to generate electricity through hydropower.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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What makes metals better to use as wires than non-metals? (please link to bonding type)??? HELP
Yash Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Chemistry grade 10 [caps]. OpenStax CNX. Jun 13, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11303/1.4
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