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Name: James A.
Status: Student
Age: 20s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: May 23, 2003


Question:
I was working on an experiment on the solutes in water from different locations, and, while I was gathering water samples, I was asked if I wanted samples from near the shore or far away; as I had already collected some samples from near the shore, I decided to maintain consistency with my other samples and said to take samples from near the shore. In any case, I was curious, and I wanted to ask the question:
does the distance from shore affect the solutes in the water? If the answer is yes, how so?



Replies:
You do not say what type(s) of body of water you were sampling, but in almost any case, I would expect differences between near-shore and off-shore samples. There are many things that affect solute types and concentrations in water bodies: vegetation, geology, animals, fish, amphibians, etc., as well as currents, shape of the body of water, degree of mixing of water, water inlets and outlets, to name a few. In terms of your experiment, it sounds as if you made the right decision to keep your sampling area limited. You certainly could conduct another experiment to answer your own questions about near-shore vs. off-shore samples. I think it is great that you are thinking about these things! I hope that you pursue a career in science-you seem to have a good start.

Pat Rowe



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