Supersaturation TT9
Published on May 12, 2014

Supersaturation - Tech Talk 9

The measurement of total dissolved gas pressure (TGP) can be a very important factor in aquaculture. When the total pressure of all gases in the water exceeds the ambient atmospheric pressure at the water's surface, supersaturation exists. The effect of excessive supersaturation on fish has been well documented and has caused massive fish kills.

Supersaturation can be caused by numerous man-made and natural sources including:

  • Dam spillways that allow a high-volume discharge to plunge air deep into the receiving water.
  • Water pump inlets that suck air, putting that air under high pressure in the piping (this is all too common).
  • Naturally high levels of nitrogen that can be found in well water.
  • Algae blooms that can cause supersaturated levels of oxygen.
  • Temperature changes, which affect the saturation level. Simply heating the water can cause lethal supersaturation.