Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Solute in Sample, Distance From Shore
Name: James A.
Status: Student
Age: 20s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: May 23, 2003

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?

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

Click here to return to the Environmental and Earth Science Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory