[CF-metadata] Silicate vs. dissolved inorganic silicon

Lowry, Roy K. rkl at bodc.ac.uk
Fri Mar 24 05:49:36 MDT 2017

Dear All,

If one makes the assumption that all the silicon and phosphorus atoms not associated with organic ligands are in a single chemical form associated with oxygen in solution then what Martin says is correct. In my experience I have never known anybody challenge this assumption and I cannot think of any other anions incorporating P and Si. Consequently, I would agree that whilst there is a theoretical semantic difference between the members of each Standard Name pair I would agree that this could be ignored and they could be considered synonyms.

Note, this only holds true as these are MOLE concentrations. The MASS concentration of inorganic phosphorus is very different from the MASS concentration of phosphate as the oxygen atoms have mass.

If the decision is taken to take action on this then I would recommend that the 'inorganic_silicon' and 'inorganic_phosphorus' names be than ones to be converted to aliases. This is based on common terminology usage in the oceanographic community.

Cheers, Roy.

Please note that I partially retired on 01/11/2015. I am now only working 7.5 hours a week and can only guarantee e-mail response on Wednesdays, my day in the office. All vocabulary queries should be sent to enquiries at bodc.ac.uk. Please also use this e-mail if your requirement is urgent.

From: CF-metadata <cf-metadata-bounces at cgd.ucar.edu> on behalf of martin.juckes at stfc.ac.uk <martin.juckes at stfc.ac.uk>
Sent: 24 March 2017 08:48
To: cf-metadata at cgd.ucar.edu
Subject: [CF-metadata] Silicate vs. dissolved inorganic silicon

Hello Alison, others,

the standard name list includes both
(1) mole_concentration_of_dissolved_inorganic_silicon_in_sea_water and (2) mole_concentration_of_silicate_in_sea_water

The definition of the first says that "dissolved inorganic silicon" means silicate ions in solution. Both have units of "mol m-3". It looks to me as though they are describing the same thing. If this is true, should one be demoted to the alias of the other? If they are different, what is the difference?

The same question applies to mole_concentration_of_dissolved_inorganic_phosphorus_in_sea_water and mole_concentration_of_phosphate_in_sea_water.


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