Publication Abstracts

Hillel 2005

Hillel, D., 2005: Water, properties. In Encyclopedia of Soils in the Environment. D. Hillel, J.H. Hatfield, D.S. Powlson, C. Rosenzweig, K.M. Scow, M.J. Singer, and D.L. Sparks, Eds., vol. 4. Elsevier/Academic Press, pp. 290-300.

Our planet is the planet of life primarily because it is blessed with the precise ranges of temperature and pressure that make possible the existence in a liquid state of a singular substance called water. So ubiquitous is water on our globe, covering nearly three-quarters of its surface, that the entire planet really should be called 'Water' rather than 'Earth.' However, as Coleridge's Ancient Mariner complained, most of the water everywhere is unfit to drink. Less than 1% of the water on earth is 'fresh' (i.e., non-saline) water, and that amount is unevenly distributed. Humid regions are endowed with an abundance of it, even with a surfeit, so that often the problem is how to dispose of excess water. Arid and semiarid regions, on the other hand, are afflicted with a chronic shortage.

Notwithstanding its ubiquity, water remains something of an enigma, possessing unusual and anomalous attributes. Perhaps the first anomaly is that, being a compound of two gases and having relatively low molecular weight, water is a liquid and not a gas at normal temperatures. (Its sister compound, hydrogen sulfide, H2S, has a boiling-point temperature of -60.7°C.) Compared with other common liquids, water has unusually high melting and boiling points, heats of fusion and vaporization, specific heat, dielectric constant, viscosity, and surface tension.

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BibTeX Citation

@misc{hi00100w,
  author={Hillel, D.},
  editor={Hillel, D. and Hatfield, J. H. and Powlson, D. S. and Rosenzweig, C. and Scow, K. M. and Singer, M. J. and Sparks, D. L.},
  title={Water, properties},
  booktitle={Encyclopedia of Soils in the Environment},
  year={2005},
  volume={4},
  pages={290--300},
  publisher={Elsevier/Academic Press},
  address={Amsterdam et al.},
}

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RIS Citation

TY  - ENCYC
ID  - hi00100w
AU  - Hillel, D.
ED  - Hillel, D.
ED  - Hatfield, J. H.
ED  - Powlson, D. S.
ED  - Rosenzweig, C.
ED  - Scow, K. M.
ED  - Singer, M. J.
ED  - Sparks, D. L.
PY  - 2005
TI  - Water, properties
BT  - Encyclopedia of Soils in the Environment
VL  - 4
SP  - 290
EP  - 300
PB  - Elsevier/Academic Press
CY  - Amsterdam et al.
ER  -

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