Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Hydrosphere

  • Nicholas Arndt
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_757-3

Definition

The hydrosphere is the combined mass of water in the atmosphere, at the surface, and in the interior of the Earth and of other planetary bodies. About 97 % of the total volume of the Earth’s hydrosphere (ca. 1.34 × 109 km3) is in the oceans; the remaining ∼3 % is in the continental ice caps (∼1.7 %), groundwater (∼1.3 %), lakes and rivers (∼0.013 %), and the atmosphere (∼0.0009 %). Up to five times the surface volume of the oceans may be present in the mantle, fixed in low concentrations in the structure of nominally anhydrous minerals. The near-sun orbit of the Earth, well inbound of the crystallization temperature of water, suggests that the Earth initially formed as a rather dry body and that most of the Earth’s water was likely subsequently supplied to the Earth by meteorites and cometary material soon after the Moon-forming impact (“Late Veneer”). Mars appears to have had a small liquid hydrosphere early in its history and retains water in ice caps and in the...

Keywords

Bioorganic Chemistry Crystallization Temperature Surface Volume Planetary Body Anhydrous Mineral 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Maison des GéosciencesLGCA, Université J. FourierSt-Martin d’HèresFrance