Earth Chemistry by Allan B. Cobb

By Allan B. Cobb

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A pH o f 7 is co nsidered neutral—neither acidic no r The Hydrosphere basic. S olutions wi th a pH o f less t han 7 a re co nsidered acidic, while those with a pH greater than 7 are considered basic. The pH o f water is a n important fac tor in t he minerals i t dissolves. Some minerals will only dissolve in acidic waters while others will only dissolve in basic wa ters. Acidic waters are typically better at diss olving heavy metals, such as mer cury (Hg), cadmium (C d), arsenic (A s), c hromium (Cr), t hallium (Tl), a nd le ad (Pb).

Over time, these networks of cracks form conduits through which water may pass. As new water is introduced, it dissolves more calcium carbonate. Limestone is not the only rock that water moves through. Some sandstone deposits also contain bodies of groundwater. Sandstone is made u p of s and grains cemented together, usually by calcium carbonate. B ecause wa ter ca n diss olve t he calci um ca rbonate, i t opens up spaces between the sand grains, allowing water to pass. Groundwater is simila r to the water in r ivers and lakes found on t he sur face.

The r eaction t akes p lace in t hree st eps as sho wn in t hese formulas (where CFCl3 represents chlorofluorocarbons): 37 38 EARTH CHEMISTRY CFCl3 + UV light ➝ CFCl2 + Cl Cl + O 3 ➝ ClO + O 2 ClO + O ➝ Cl + O 2 The chlorine released in t he third step is no t broken down or changed, s o it continues reacting with ozone as fast as t he ozone is p roduced. Chlo rine was no t kno wn t o a ffect o zone in t he stratosphere un til 1973. S cientists f ound co nclusive e vidence o f THE OZONE HOLE In 1984, scientists announced the discovery of an ozone hole over Antarctica.

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