Dissolved Gases in Water

As water is a very good solvent there are a number of gases which can be dissolved in water. The most obvious is oxygen which makes up part of the chemical composition of water. Other gases that can be dissolved in water include:

  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Hydrogen (the other part of water)
  • Methane
  • Nitrogen

An example of carbon dioxide dissolving in water has already been discussed under photosynthesis

The presence of one or all of the above listed dissolved gases in high concentration or concentrations that exceed a reasonable level for an extended period of time can be extremely harmful to aquatic animal and plant life. One of the many effects is that algal growth is increased which in turn removes oxygen from the water and thereby suffocates both animal and plant life that require the oxygen in water to survive.