EPA Science Inventory

Trends in Surface Water Chemistry in Acidified Areas in Europe and North America from 1990 to 2008

Citation:

Garmo, &., B. Skjelkvåle, H. de Wit, L. Colombo, C. Curtis, J. Fölster, A. Hoffmann, J. Hruška, T. Høgåsen, D. Jeffries, W. Keller, P. Kram, V. Majer, D. Monteith, A. Paterson, M. Rogora, D. Rzychon, S. Steingruber, J. Stoddard, J. Vuorenmaa, AND A. Worsztynowicz. Trends in Surface Water Chemistry in Acidified Areas in Europe and North America from 1990 to 2008. WATER, AIR, AND SOIL POLLUTION. Springer, New York, NY, 225(1880):14, (2014).

Description:

Acidification of lakes and rivers is still an environmental concern despite reduced emissions of acidifying compounds. We analyzed trends in surface water chemistry of 173 acid-sensitive sites from 12 regions in Europe and North America. In 11 of 12 regions, non-marine sulphate (SO4*) declined significantly between 1990 and 2008 (-15% to -59%). In contrast, regional and temporal trends in nitrate were smaller and less uniform. In 11 of 12 regions, chemical recovery was demonstrated in the form of positive trends in pH and/or alkalinity and/or acid neutralizing capacity (ANC). The positive trends in these indicators of chemical recovery were regionally and temporally less distinct than the decline in SO4*, and tended to flatten after 1999. From an ecological perspective, the chemical quality of surface waters in acid-sensitive areas in these regions has clearly improved as a consequence of emission abatement strategies, paving the way for some biological recovery.

Purpose/Objective:

This is a journal article on surface water trends from the International Cooperative Programme on Assessment and Monitoring of Acidification of Rivers and Lakes (ICP Waters, a scientific group operating under the auspices of the U.N. Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution. The article reports on the continuing declines in sulfate, originating from SO2 emissions in North America and Europe, and the continued chemical recovery (increasing pH and alkalinity)in lakes and streams.

URLs/Downloads:

ABSTRACT - STODDARD.PDF   (PDF,NA pp, 43.672 KB,  about PDF)

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Completion Date: 04/22/2014
Record Last Revised: 04/22/2014
Record Created: 04/22/2014
Record Released: 04/22/2014
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 273852

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION

FRESHWATER ECOLOGY BRANCH