Environmental Science, 10th Edition (Cunningham)

Chapter 18: Water Pollution

GE Exercise: Eutrophication: Bohai Bay, Caspian Sea

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Take a virtual field trip with Google Earth!
Google Earth is a free, online application that uses satellite imagery to allow the user to zoom across the globe in a realistic, virtual environment. Downloading Google Earth is free at http://www.earth.google.com.

An overview manual is available by clicking here... Google Earth Overview (342.0K)

To continue:
- Make sure you have the Google Earth software installed and running.
- Copy the following latitude and longitude and paste into the "Fly to" field under the Search tab.
- Hit "Enter" for Google Earth to take you to the specified coordinates, then come back here and read the following overview.

Latitude/Longitude: 45.6655, 50.9301

Overview: Eutrophication: Bohai Bay, Caspian Sea, p. 403

Nutrients washing from farmlands and cities support algae blooms, which can deplete oxygen and kill fish and other marine organisms. Eutrophication (excessive plant growth) is especially common in enclosed, shallow bays. Here are two examples.

Although colors vary among the satellite images you see, contrasting tones of green, or even yellow, in a blue sea often mark algae blooms.

Go to the Bohai Bay place marker.

What is the large city about 150 km northwest of the bay?
Is the green algae cloud concentrated in the back corners of the bay or in the middle, and why?
A)The algae bloom is usually concentrated in the middle of bays because that is where the depth allows the most density of algae. Exchanging water with the sea outside the bay only increases nutrients for algal growth.
B)The algae bloom is usually concentrated in protected areas where water circulation is slight. The middle of Bohai Bay, where there is some water exchange with the sea outside the bay, is much more blue because of lower algae concentrations.

Go to the Caspian Sea place marker.

Just west of the large, northern algae bloom is a ragged, complex shoreline that marks the delta where the Volga River enters the Caspian Sea. Zoom in and out as necessary to trace the Volga upstream. Would you say that extensive agriculture occurs near the mouth of the river or far upstream?
A)The lower reaches of the Volga are heavily farmed, as well as the upper reaches for a thousand km or more.
B)The lower reaches of the Volga are heavily farmed, but the upper reaches do not appear to support much agriculture.
C)The lower reaches of the Volga are not heavily farmed, but the upper reaches have concentrated agriculture for a thousand km or more.
D)Neither the upper nor the lower reaches of the Volga have much agricultural activity.
In what way is this similar to the Mississippi?
A)In both rivers, there is extensive agriculture upstream from the sea.
B)In both rivers, the main cause of eutrophication is far from the place where the problem occurs.
C)Both answers provided above are true.
D)Neither answer provided above is true.
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