Why is there so much oxygen in water but so little free in the atmosphere?

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Offline imd321

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I was listening to a radio programme recently where they mentioned that in the past the earth had very little oxygen in the atmosphere (2% I think was the figure).  This left me wondering how there could be so much oxygen in the water and so little in the atmosphere.

Am I correct in assuming that there is actually a lot of oxygen in the water.  Perhaps the amount of water compared to the amount of atmosphere is small.

Does the hydrogen bond so strongly and easily with oxygen that it can't 'escape'?  But if that were true then why is there any oxygen in the atmosphere.

Can anyone explain
« Last Edit: 29/07/2009 16:17:33 by chris »

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Offline Chemistry4me

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Am I correct in assuming that there is actually a lot of oxygen in the water.  Perhaps the amount of water compared to the amount of atmosphere is small.

Quote
There is about twenty times more oxygen in the air than there is in seawater.
http://www.aquaristsonline.com/blog/aquarium-care/water-quality/dissolved-oxygen-in-seawater/

Seawater normally contains between 5-14 parts per million [oxygen]

http://sem.cypresscollege.edu/~arajab/122/1-Seawater%20Chem.pdf

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Offline Bored chemist

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Depending on how you look at it, water is about 16/18 oxygen.
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