UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A study of biophysical phenomena associated with gas bubble trauma in fish Fidler, Larry E.


The condition of Gas Bubble Trauma in fish was examined in terms of specific symptoms involving bubble development in the circulatory system and buccal cavities of fish. Based on a comparison between the conditions for bubble growth in fish exposed to supersaturated water and mammals exposed to hyperbaric and hypobaric decompression a mathematical model was developed describing environmental water threshold needed to initiate bubble growth in fish. The equation development yielded expressions which related the thresholds in total dissolved gas pressure required to initiate bubble growth in the circulatory system to the partial pressure ratio of dissolved oxygen in the environmental water, oxygen uptake ratio across the gill, the size of nucleation sites in the circulatory system, the surface tension of fish blood and environmental parameters such as water temperature, depth and barometric pressure. In the case of bubble growth in the buccal cavity, environmental water thresholds were related to total gas pressure, nuclei radius, water surface tension, water temperature, depth and barometric pressure. Bubble growth thresholds were examined for a range of the above dependent parameters.

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