Week of March 28 notes The Environment
Week of March 28 notes The Environment ENVT 0845-005
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Katrina Salamon on Saturday April 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENVT 0845-005 at Temple University taught by Dr. Udoeyo in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see The Environment in Professional Education Services at Temple University.
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Date Created: 04/02/16
March 28, 2016 Water Water is a transparent fluid Forms streams, rivers, oceans, etc. The foundation of fluid in living things Two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom—strong, difficult to break bond Water has existed for billions of years due to the strength of this bond 70% of earth’s surface is covered in water 3 most abundant molecule in the atmosphere Equal amount of water evaporates as precipitates Water balance coefficient o Index of regional water availability in a particular region (rainfall potential evaporation) o Arid regions: 200 to 300cm o Rainforest can exceed 400 cm o Positive coefficients indicate forests o Negative coefficients indicate savannas, grasslands, deserts Watersheds o Area of land that has water that drains to other bodies of water (river, lake) o Separated by mountains, plateaus, etc. o Open watersheds eventually drain to the sea, closed watersheds don’t Human Water Use o Nonconsumptive uses: the water returns to streams or aquifers (i.e. hydroelectric power, wastewater in septic systems) o Consumptive uses: water not returned to streams, much evaporates (i.e. irrigation and industrial use) Streams o Any natural body of flowing water, regardless of size o They originate in the upper reaches (headwaters) of watersheds o They flow down the watersheds and merge with other streams o They are classified using stream order, which refers to the number of streams feeding them (first [one stream feeding into it] , second [two streams feeding it], third order) o Pulled downhill by gravity, speed determined by the gradient of the land (calculated by dividing the change in elevation by the distance traveled) o Perennial Stream flows year round, intermittent stream flows at only certain times Channel: normal waterway, road Floodplain: area around the stream that is susceptible to floods, which is not usually found in headwaters Levees: the natural sediment build up on the sides of streams Riparian Zone: the land between stream and terrestrial system (“plants must tolerate flooding/saturated soil and low level of soil oxygen”) Hyphoric Zone: contains sediments and microorganisms Human Use and impact o Dams, diversions, reshaping which disrupts the system to change flooding, or to make water available for use o Channelization and artificial levees: reduce flooding and slow flow, “usually involves the removal of most riparian vegetation” o Pollution: point source (from a specific location like pipes or factories) o Nonpoint source (from an array of sources across a location) o Bioassessment: “evaluating the biological condition of a body of water using biological surveys (biosurveys) and other direct measurements of the resident biota” Lakes and ponds o “Inland bodies of water that fill topographic basins” o Don’t flow o Lakes have a short lifespan (less than 1 million years) o Over 300 million inland bodies of water o 90% of them are smaller than 2.5 acres o Lakes: “stream fed with surface area greater than 5 hectors” o Volume is determined by inflow and outflow o Open basins: drained by a stream or river o Closed Basin: no outlet stream, outflow through percolation and evaporation, sodium chloride left behind after evaporation Lentic Ecosystems o Scientists divide lake environments into benthic zone and pelagic zone o Pelagic zone is further subdivided Peglagic zone o Open water o Primary producer: phytoplankton Littoral Zone o Area very near to the land, has some plants, animals and other forms of like Human use and impact o Irrigation, diverting water, etc. o Alter the quantity of water o Alter quality of water (pollution, sedimentation, nutrients) Groundwater o Found beneath earth in rocks and soil o 0.3% of earth’s water o Most is found in aquifers o Comes from rain and other precipitation that seeps into the soil o Water Table: “underground depth where rock and sediment are completely saturated” o Unconfined, confining, and confined aquifers (layers) Human use and impacts o Extract for agriculture, domestic, industrial, etc. use o Sometimes the extraction exceeds the percolation (more water being taken out than sinking in) o Artisan well: “pressure causes water to rise above confining layer without the need for pumping” o Pollution March 30, 2016 Groundwater o Extraction for agricultural, industrial, and domestic use o Extraction can exceed recharge o Artisan well Wetlands o Soil is saturated all year or most of the year o Soil contains little oxygen (anaerobic soil) Hydrophytes—plants adapted to anaerobic soil o Ecosystem services Store water, flood control, improve water quality, habitat for fish and wildlife o Marshes Periodically or continuously flooded Herbaceous plants Tidal marches Along the coast, containing salt water and affected by the tides Nontidal marshes Floodplains and depressions Along the side of streams and lakes o Fens Wetland fed by groundwater Peaty soil Grasses with patches of woody vegetation i.e. Florida everglades o Swamps Fed by flowing water Lots of shrubs or trees Floodplains of major rivers Forested swamps: in the broad floodplains of large rivers Tall trees, like bald cypress and water tupelo Mangrove swamps along the coast Tropical or subtropical o Bog Water comes from rainfall Wetlands with peat deposits Soil low in nutrients and oxygen Also low phosphorus and nitrogen—plants adapted to it. Generally low nutrient Human impact o Many wetlands destroyed o 40 of 90 ha destroyed o The remaining is degraded by drainage and pollution o Now, lacking in ecosystem services provided by wetlands o 1972 Clean Water Act passed protections for wetlands Estuaries o Partially enclosed bodies of water where fresh meets ocean water o Most productive ecosystem on earth Fisheries Flood and storm surge protection Sediment and nutrient absorption o Water flow Movement from streams/rivers to oceans Flow is slow and complex Flushing time: the time required for an estuary to completely SLIDE o Estuary ecosystems Benefits terrestrial and marine ecosystems Wide variety of habitats Most productive on earth o Human use/impact Harbors Fishing (provides jobs, both recreational and food) 95% of bays tidal marshes lost to dredging and levee construction Pollution Nutrient runoff causes eutrophication o Dead zones: regions of low oxygen from high decomposer activity Oceans o Cover 71% of earths surface o Contains 98% of earth’s water o Average salinity of 3.5% o They circulate and disperse heat around the world o The most biological diversity and abundance in the ocean is found closer to the land o Ocean currents: Circulation of ocean water affects climate patterns o Surface currents Reaches a depth of 400 m Driven by wind, earth rotation, and water temperature Gyres: patterns of surface circulation—brings warm water from equatorial regions along the east coasts of continents and towards the poles From the poles, water flows SLIDE o Vertical currents Caused by differences in temperature and salinity Called thermohaline circulation Moves slowly (hundreds of years for one molecule to make the whole circuit) Moves lots of heat, therefore has a significant effect on global climate o Ocean Ecosystems Intertidal zone Area along the coast Submerged at high tide, out at low tide Intertidal habitats—sandy beaches, mudflats, rock outcrops Organisms must tolerate saturation and drying cycles Pelagic zone Subdivided into the photic and aphotic zones o Open waters Photic zone o Depth varies—in coastal water Benthic Zone Ocean bottom o Thermal vents Chemosynthetic ecosystems o Coral reefs Most diverse and productive benthic marine ecosystem Primarily in shallow tropical waters Human use and impact o Provides more than 5% of worlds protein o Overharvesting o Mineral and resources o Pollution Nutrient runoff Dead zones Heavy metals and petroleum Plastic waste Strategies for conserving water o 70% of freshwater irrigates crops o irrigation efficiency % of applied water that actually gets used by plants o most farms have less than 40% efficiency o simple changes in practices and new technologies can decrease use by more than 50% Water Reuse o Municipal wastewater treated and reused for irrigation This reduces the need for water Reused water has residual nutrients Reduces fertilizer needs Desalination: converts seawater to freshwater by desalinating it Distillation: boiling freshwater to kill germs Reverse osmosis: filters out salts Expensive (in cost and energy) o Cost effective in some regions U.S. water use o States set water rights Eastern US—Riparian water rights Landowners adjacent to water have right to reasonable use (domestic, fishing, swimming, etc..) Western—prior appropriation You must buy the water. No givenrights to it April 1, 2016 Waste Management o Collection, storage, disposal of waste (from normal individual waste to nuclear power plant waste—everything) Types of Waste o Wastewater o Solid waste (trash) o Hazardous waste (flammable, corrosive, toxic) o Electronic Waste (computers, cell phones) o Radioactive waste (radiation in hospitals, weapon labs, nuclear power plants, etc.) Textbook Case Study of the aluminum can Wastewater o Needs to be treated to protect surface water quality, protect public health, and meet legal requirements Municipal wastewater treatments o Sewage and other wastewater was dumped into waterways o The treatment among developing nations varies Municipal Sewage Treatment Plants (MSTPs) Pretreated wastewater goes into settling tanks to remove solids o Primary treatment Physical reduction: removes additional solids Produces liquid high in organic compounds and processing of sludge o Secondary treatment Use of microorganisms to break down further o Tertiary treatment Wastewater passed through sand and charcoal filters to remove residual solids On site wastewater treatment o 25% of households have their own septic systems Underground tank Leach field where microorganisms in the soil break down the waste materials Solids are periodically dumped o Blackwater The water from toilets and garbage disposal o Graywater Water from sources other than toilets and garbage disposal Graywater used to flush toilets and irrigate gardens Solid Waste o Average American generates 720 kg (1,620 lbs.) solid waste yearly o Municipal solid waste It differs due to regions and time Paper products, yard waste, food scraps, plastic, etc. etc. o Paper is the highest paper waste Sanitary landfills o Prevents contamination of groundwater and reduces odor Lined with impervious clay and plastic Leachate: liquids that leak from landfills o Waste incineration Burned at high temperature to reduce volume and weight Volume ends up 56% of original waste o Facilities use filters and scrubbers to reduce emissions of pollutants Some harness heat for electricity generation Wastetoenergy facilities Composting o Uses natural decomposition o Yard trimmings and food waste is 25% of municipal waste o Smallscale household composing can help shrink waste stream o Some cities divert food and yard waste to a large scale composting facility Generates revenue, as compost may be sold Solid Waste o Reducing the waste stream using multiple strategies to remove pressure from landfills o Reducing waste Consumer choices—the weight of plastic bottles has been reduced o Reusing waste Goodwill, salvation army o Recycling waste Saves resources and energy Recycling o Primary (closed loop) recycles products to produce new products of the same type o Secondary recycling (open loop) with waste producing different products
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