Water column


Water column

A water column is a conceptual column of water from surface to bottom sediments. [ [http://waterontheweb.org/resources/glossary.html#W Water on the Web | Resources | Glossary ] ] This concept is used chiefly for environmental studies evaluating the stratification or mixing (e.g. by wind induced currents) of the thermal or chemically stratified layers in a lake, stream or ocean. Some of the common parameters analyzed in the water column are: pH, turbidity, temperature, salinity, total dissolved solids, various pesticides, pathogens and a wide variety of chemicals and biota.

The concept of "water column" is quite important, since many aquatic phenomena are explained by the incomplete vertical mixing of chemical, physical or biological parameters. For example, when studying the metabolism of benthic organisms, it is the specific bottom layer concentration of available chemicals in the water column that is meaningful, rather than the average value of those chemicals throughout the water column.

Hydrostatic pressure can be analyzed by the height of a water column, which effectively yields the pressure at a given depth of the column.

ee also

*Pelagic zone
*Hydrological transport model
*Thermal pollution

References

External links

* [http://www.hboi.edu/marinesci/water_column.html Water column ecology]


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