Chemical Oceanography

  • Textbook: An Introduction to the Chemistry of the Sea by Michael Pilson
  •        Chemical Oceanography by Emerson and Hedges
  •       Chemical Oceanography by Frank Millero
  •        An Introduction to Marine Biogeochemistry by S. M. Libes

Course Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the basic chemistry of the oceans with regards to pH, equilibrium, and kinetics.
  2. Understand the distribution of elements within the ocean and factors that effect that distribution ranging from gas exchange, to biological activity, to sedimentation.
  3. Be able to explain the underlying principles of chemical and biogeochemical cycling in marine systems.
  4. Be able to develop / improve written and oral communication skills focused on marine chemical and biogeochemical processes and related contemporary research.


  1. Introduction and properties of seawater
  2. Major ions and salinity – Chemical Equilibrium
  3. Marine Carbonate Systems /Alkalinity Chemistry
  4. Acid Base, Gas Exchange/ Solubility
  5. Stable Isotopes
  6. Radioisotopes
  7. Rivers and groundwater
  8. Hydrothermal processes
  9. Non-conservative processes in estuaries/groundwater/hydrothermal
  10. Gas exchange across the air-sea interface
  11. Atmospheric-ocean interaction
  12. Primary Production and Respiration
  13. Nutrients: Nitrogen and Phosphorus
  14. New, export, and net community production
  15. Marine particles/Biological Pump
  16. Organic Matter in Ocean
  17. Quantifying biogeochemical fluxes and rates
  18. Marine Sediments
  19. Early diagenesis I
  20. Early diagenesis II and sediment distributions
  21. Long-term cycles of carbon, oxygen and sulfur

Anthropogenic Carbon dioxide