What happens to substances that contaminate deep ocean water or deep aquifers in the ground?

Asked Nov 02, 2010
"Contaminate" implies that a material damages the environment in some way. Some damage is short term like a rapidly bio-degradeable contaminant would be. Some is much longer term. It depends on what the material is made of and how it interacts with water, soil, animal and plant life. There is no one answer that would apply to all contaminats.
Answered Nov 03, 2010
Edited Nov 03, 2010
well as far as the aquafiers in the ground, they seem to be much more prone to exothermic than endothermic reactions, so they react, mutate, and heat up the ground and the water, which then triggers the release of more chemicals by adding energy into the reaction scenario. so if you find a river at a point where it is letting out to the ocean and the water is not as cold as the ocean, there are probably noxious gasses (some formed by reactions with older pollutants that gathered along the bed) bubbling up from the ground and ground water. some common emissions are things like carbon monoxide, and nitrous oxide. some companies are working semi-secretly to harvest these gasses, without really knowing what they are going to use them for, and some city planning reroutes underground noxious gas hotspots, dericting the dangerous emissions to particular neighborhoods, usually the least ecologically regulated neighborhoods, which are now known as 'sacrifice zones'- that is a corporate technical term that was found in maps of large industrial companies covering areas all around the world.

apparently there are few aquifiers more than a few km deep, because the water pressure seals the pores in the aquafiers.

i don't really know the answer to the part about deep ocean water- I think that would be more complicated. Contaminants generally are coming from humans, which means that groundwater aquafiers really bear the brunt of most types of contaminats, but the exceptions are very drastically contaminating conditions such as deep ocean oil drilling. if you think about what your contaminants are, it might be easier to know where to look for that information.
Answered Feb 05, 2013

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