common substance falls from the atmosphere, flows through
our bodies, runs through the soil beneath our feet, collects
in puddles and lakes, then vaporizes back into the atmosphere
in a never-ending cycle?
Water, as it cycles between land, ocean and atmosphere, forms
the major link between the terrestrial world (involving anything
living on the earth) and the aquatic world (involving anything
living on or in the water).
Water drips off rooftops, flows over roads, off your toothbrush,
and down the drain, percolates through the soils of fields
and forests and eventually finds its way into rivers, lakes
During its journey, water will pick up leaf litter, soil,
nutrients, agricultural chemicals, road salts and gasoline
from cars, all of which have profound impacts on life in aquatic
systems. Water can also be filtered or purified as it percolates
The TerrAqua Column provides you with a model to explore
the link between land and water. The model has three basic
components: soil, water and plants.
By varying the treatment of just one of these components
you can explore how one
variable can affect the whole system. How does salt affect
the growth of plants? How does adding fertilizer to the soil
affect algal growth in the water chamber? What type of soil
best purifies water?
Experimentation with the TerrAqua Column is practically
unlimited. You can define a question, and then design your
experiment to explore it.