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The Effects of Aerosols on Water Quality

Student(s):Anna Willard
Grade Level:Secondary School (grades 9-12, ages 14-18)
GLOBE Teacher:
Contributors:Dr. Pippin, Mr. Toth, Mrs. Bird
Date Submitted: 03/10/2020
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This project focuses on the question; what is the effect of aerosols on water quality at the SFX pond? The hypothesis states if there are higher levels of aerosols, then the DO levels will be lower, and the temperature, electrical conductivity, and pH levels will all be higher. Aerosols are tiny particles in the air directly linked with the Air Quality Index (AQI). Data was collected outside by observing the cloud coverage, observing which way the wind was blowing, and measuring the Aerosol Optical Thickness. The pond water was then collected and tested for temperature, DO, pH, and conductivity, along with a protected bucket of water added as a control. The hypothesis was partially supported by the data. Dissolved oxygen and conductivity did not seem to be directly affected by the aerosols. When aerosols were high, ph was low, and when the aerosols were low, pH was high. Further data collection will be done to find a correlation. When aerosols were high, temperature was high, and when the aerosols were low, temperature was low. This could be because of stored up warm water below the surface of the pond but future data collection will hopefully lead to a more clear explanation. This applies to the real world because it affects people and it can contribute to Global Warming and air quality. Healthy air and water quality are necessary for human and other animal and plant life. It also shows how humans are affecting water with physical and gas pollutants.
Keywords: dissolved oxygen, electrical conductivity, temperature, pH, air quality index, and aerosols