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Environmental Science Chapter 21
Terms in this set (18)
Biological Oxygen Demand is the amount of oxygen microorganisms need to decompose biological wastes into carbon dioxide, water, and minerals
Enrichment of water with excessive nutrients (nitrogen/ phosphorus), which causes algal growth (blooms) that cause O2 depletion in water with the decomposition of algal biomass. This can be a natural or inorganic process. (i.e. animal waste or industrial fertilizers)
occurs when heated water produced during certain industrial processes is released into waterways and affects organisms' reproduction, digestion, respiration, and feeding habits, and holds less dissolved oxygen than cold water because it is warmer, because decomposition occurs more quickly
N2 that has been fixed into useable forms by organisms. This can be done through reduction (ammonias, N + H), oxidation (nitric oxides, N + O), or via organic compounds.
N2-in the atmosphere that must be fixed before it can be used by organisms
O2 depletion in water with the decomposition of algal biomass after being affected by nutrients such as nitrates and phosphorous (can be natural or caused by humans).
has clear water and supports small populations of aquatic organisms. A characteristic of a body of water that has un-enriched and clear water. Results in: good light penetration, high dissolved oxygen, deep/ cold water, low algal growth. Fish that live in these waters include: bass, trout, pike, sturgeon, whitefish
an enriched body of water is said to eutrophic. A characteristic of a body of water that has experienced excessive nutrient levels and reduced O2 because of this. Results in: poor light penetration, low dissolved oxygen, shallow/ warm waters, and high algal growth. Fish that lives in these waters include: carp, bullhead, and catfish. (All lakes, estuaries, and slow-moving streams eventually become eutrophic with time, but human interference can speed up the process).
Haber Bosch Process
In the 19th century German scientist, Fritz Haber, developed the first practical process to convert atmospheric nitrogen (N2) to ammonia, which is nutritionally available for plants to absorb. It is estimated that 40% of people are able to live today because of this synthetic N2 fixation process.
A section of ocean or sea in which oxygen has been depleted to the point that most animals and bacteria cannot survive- often caused by runoff of chemical fertilizer and/ or plant/ animal waste. These zones can grow considerably during a flood/ heavy rain event
oxygen content dissolved in water
any biological species that defines a trait or characteristic of the environment
wastewater from drains or sewers (from toilets, washing machines, showers) includes human wastes, soaps, and detergents
Tell why millions of fish die in the Salton Sea
Fish are dying in the Salton Sea due to hypoxia (low oxygen levels), which is caused by: 1. High air temperatures (reduces oxygen solubility in water) 2. High salinity (reduces oxygen solubility in water) 3. Eutrophication (from nutrient inputs that cause algal blooms, die offs, decomposition, and the bacteria's consumption of oxygen)
Fish are also dying because of the limited oxygen in the water
Tell how humans have altered the global nitrogen budget, including approximately by how much humans have increased the amount of reactive nitrogen.
From 1951-1995, humans have nearly doubled the global reactive nitrogen budget through the Haber-Bosch process that creates our synthetic fertilizers
Define eutrophication, the biological and chemical processes involved, and its ultimate causes.
Eutrophication: the enrichment of a lake, estuary, or slow flowing stream by inorganic plant and algal nutrients such as phosphorus. The water in a eutrophic lake is normally cloudy and resembles pea soup. Eutrophication is the enrichment of a body of water with excessive nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), which causes algal growth and subsequent decline of dissolved oxygen after decomposition. These nutrients can come from natural sources or from fertilizer runoff.
Draw the relationship between temperature, salinity, and oxygen solubility in water, and use that diagram to explain why the Salton Sea has low levels of DO, even without eutrophication.
The Salton Sea is located in the center of Southern California and air temperatures are very extreme- especially in summer months. This causes high water temperatures, which decreases the water's capacity to dissolve oxygen. Additionally, the water is situated in an interior drainage basin. Because the water is stagnant and evaporates with the heat, salinity increases and a high salt content does not allow the water to dissolve oxygen very efficiently.
List three pollutants that occur in high concentrations in sewage.
1) Nutrient enrichment that leads to eutrophication
2) Pathogens (E coli, etc.)
3) BOD (The amount of oxygen consumed during the decomposition of organic matter in a water sample. High BOD = low O2 content.)
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