Mission 1 - Wayward Water! – Explore the Hydrosphere

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Let's recap what we saw here. What did you observe about...

The Trees?

We note that the trees growing near the spring are physically interacting with the rocks!  Their roots physically break apart the rock as they grow in search of water! This is a form of physical weathering called "biological weathering", in which case plants help break rocks down into tiny bits called sediment. We will learn more about physical weathering in Mission 2!

The Rocks?

The rocks are mostly made up of limestone. Limestones are formed from the remains of ancient marine life, which contain a mineral called calcite. Calcite is composed of the elements Calcium, Carbon and Oxygen, and is sensitive to water that is slightly acidic. In the presence of slightly acid water, some of the limestone will dissolve - and enter the water in a solution. You can't see the minerals in the water, but they are there! 

The Water?

The water contains the dissolved minerals from the rocks below, found in the aquifer. The clear water suggests the water did not flow over the ground and pick up sediment, or bits of soil and rock, as was the case in the quarry. This water is also the same temperature as the aquifer water, which is much cooler than the air!

Where does this suggest the spring water comes from? The air or underground?

Let's see where the water goes next... and how it changes, and how the landscape changes too!


Click "Next Lesson" to continue.

Video: Limestone


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