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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

James W Murray
OCEAN 521
Seattle Campus

Aquatic Chemistry

Application of physical chemistry and thermodynamics to processes that control chemical composition of natural waters. Equilibrium approach. Acid/base chemistry, the carbonate system, dissolution and precipitation, metal ions in solution, oxidation-reduction chemistry, silicate mineral reactions. Prerequisite: OCEAN 520 or permission of instructor. Offered: A.

Class description

Jim Murray (Oceanography) and Laurie Balistrieri (USGS/Oceanography) are teaming together to teach an Aquatic Chemistry course that will be useful for all students interested in the chemistry of all natural waters Students should register for either Ocean 521. This course should be on interest to all students at UW interested in environmental aquatic chemistry (including Oceanography, Geology, Atmospheric Science, Chemistry, Civil Engineering).

This course covers the fundamentals and applications of equilibrium aquatic chemistry to freshwater and seawater environments. Basic tools are presented first. These include concepts in chemical thermodynamics, activity scales and corrections and computer programs. The subsequent topics covered include acid-base reactions with emphasis on the ocean CO2 system, ocean acidification and acid rain, metal ion hydrolysis and complexation reactions (bioavailability), solubility reactions with emphasis on metal oxides and CaCO3, and oxidation/reduction reactions.

The computer equilibrium program (PHREEQ), will be introduced and used for solving problems. Proficiency in setting up and solving quantitative equilibrium problems by hand and computer is the main goal of this class. Some class time will be used for discussion of papers from the literature.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

There will be two class sessions (TuTh: 1:00 to 2:30). The required reading for the course will be the classic text "Aquatic Chemistry" by W. Stumm and J.J. Morgan (3rd Edition, 1996). Additional references and data will be provided from other texts and journals as required.

Recommended preparation

A chemistry back ground equivalent to one year of college chemistry.

Class assignments and grading

Weekly problem sets and computer lab A Final Exam


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by James W Murray
Date: 03/14/2008