Chemical Factors That Affect The Aquatic Environment

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DISCUSSION Physico-chemical factors affecting the aquatic environment A. Temperature Knud-Hansen (2006) stated that the temperature of pond water varies depending on the pond’s gains and losses of thermal energy. Solar radiation gets directly absorbed by the water and by other suspended materials in the water column, and this energy tends to deeply penetrate clearer waters than waters with high concentrations of suspended particles. In the case of the latter, only water at the surface exhibits a higher temperature since that is where solar energy is rapidly absorbed. Another factor to look at that can cause fluctuations in water temperature is contact with air at the surface of the pond. This direct contact can effectuate the transfer of some thermal energy. Contact with cooler air leads to a decrease in the surface water temperature. Aside from direct contact with relatively cooler air, evaporative cooling and thermal radiation losses are also means by which a pond loses heat from its surface waters. Evaporative cooling is caused by several factors that include air temperature, relative humidity, and movement of air over the water surface. It is a cooling function akin to perspiration in humans. Thermal radiation losses take place when the temperature of the water surface is warmer than the air passing over it. It is said that ponds usually lose more heat at nighttime when the air is relatively cooler, when there is wind, and when there is low relative humidity. Water

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