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Water’s Beginnings
‘The seeds of everything have a moist nature”.
(Circa 600 B.C.)
Thales of Meletus
“the father of science”
7 sages of Greece
Solon of Athens - "Nothing in excess"
Chilon of Sparta - "Know thyself"
Thales of Miletus - "To bring surety brings ruin"
Bias of Priene - "Too many workers spoil the work"
Cleobulus of Lindos - "Moderation is the chief good"
Pittacus of Mitylene - "Know thine opportunity"
Periander of Corinth - "Forethought in all things"
spherical Earth
moon reflected light from the sun
Solar Eclipse: 585 B.C..
water is the origin and essence of all things
Essence of all things?
Water in the Solar System
Ice core
Ice and liquid clouds
Temp. and Po
Ice and liquid clouds.
How large is the earth?
Radius: 3986 mi (4000 mi)
Diameter: 7973 mi (8000 mi)
Circumference: 25,048 mi (25,000 mi)
How much water is there?
400 billion billion gallons
326 million mi3
Total Earth Water = 326 million mi3
688 miles
1 cubic mile
93 million miles
326 million mi3
0.12% of the earth’s volume
What percentage is readily available fresh water?
When did water appear and where did it come from?
Accepted Age of the Earth:
4.5 billion years
Accretion of materials
from formation of
the solar system
Molten Surface
8000o F
Geologic Time Line
4.5 Bya to 570 Mya
(Earth formation, oceans, atmosphere, primitive life, oxygen)
570 Mya to 245 Mya
245 Mya to 65 Mya
65 Mya to present
Time Scale
65 mya
Cenozoic Era
Approximately 90% of Earth’s history
- 4.5 bya
Precambrian – encompasses the time from Earth's
formation, approximately 4.5 billion years ago, until the start
of the Cambrian period approximately 570 million years ago (mya).
570 mya
Early Precambrian
CO2 (carbon dioxide),
NH3 (ammonia),
H2O (water vapor)
Cooling and condensation of water from the atmosphere
Rainfall for millions of years
Evidence of Earliest Liquid Water
Pillow Lavas
3.35 – 3.5 bya
Water and the Tale of the Rocks
Basaltic Rocks: 3.9 billion years
3.5 billion years ago
Granitic rocks/minerals
Minerals indicate
Interaction with water
Sedimentary rock
Earliest Evidence of liquid Water on Earth ~ 4.4 bya
(potentially ephemeral)
Zircon Crystals
Time Line
Big Bang:
14 billion years
(Hubble Red shift, cosmic radiation)
Solar System 4.5 billion years
Liquid Water 3.6- 4.4 billion years
History of civilization: 8000- 10,000 years
Origins of Earth’s Water
Earth’s Mantle
0.1 – 5 % water
chondritic meteorites
up to 20% water,
Could contain more fresh water than earth
The largest known asteroid
25 percent of the asteroid belt's total mass
Small, but possibly numerous
Wrong kind of water?
Hydrogen in Water (H2O)
Electron (-)
Proton (+)
Deuterium has a neutron
The earth ratio of hydrogen to deuterium is about 4000:1
Comet LINEAR (2000)
LINEAR was the first comet with a chemistry that
indicated its water had the same ratio of hydrogen
to deuterium as the water actually found on Earth.
3.6 million tons (3.3 billion kilograms) of water
Volcanic Outgassing
Mantle Rocks: 0.1 – 0.5 % water
70% water
Origins of Water
comet LINEAR
Next Lecture: Water and Life