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MSMS 5040 Marine Chemistry: Getting Started

Course Guide for the OC Core Course in Marine Chemistry (MSMS 5040)

Your First Stop in Oceanography Research

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Marine Chemistry

Marine Chemistry

Course Number:  MSMS 5040

This course is an introduction to marine chemistry. It describes the properties, composition, and origin of seawater; the importance, distribution, relationships, and biogeochemical cycling of the major inorganic nutrients, dissolved gases, trace metals, and organic compounds. Salinity, temperature and density distributions will be explained. Carbonate parameters (pH, Alkalinity, TCO2 and pCO2) and how these are influenced by uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide by the ocean will be a key topic. Material is presented through lectures and four laboratory sessions which cover the principles and application of selected analytical techniques. 

Marine Chemistry

Course Number:  MSMS 5040

Marine Chemistry Textbook:

Marine Chemistry Suggested Book:

Marine Chemistry

Course Number:  MSMS 5040

At the conclusion of this course the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the physical, chemical and biological processes affecting the distribution of chemical parameters in the oceans.
  • Explain the concepts of salinity and composition of the major seawater ions. Describe the distribution of salinity, temperature and density in the oceans
  • Explain the carbonate system, distribution of carbonate parameters in the oceans and the concept of ocean acidification and climate change.
  • Describe the distribution of dissolved oxygen in the oceans, seasonal variations, physical and biological processes affecting oxygen concentrations and its importance for marine life.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the importance, major forms, distribution, measurement and cycling of inorganic nutrients (phosphate, nitrate, nitrite and silicate), dissolved organic matter and trace elements in the oceans.
  • Determine the salinity of seawater by various physical and chemical methods.
  • Determine the concentration of dissolved oxygen in seawater by standard analytical means.
  • Determine the concentration of inorganic phosphate in seawater by standard analytical methods.
  • Determine the concentrations and fluctuations of the major components of the CO2 system from pH/alkalinity data, and interpret the results in biological or ecological terms.
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