Watershed factors affecting stream acidification in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, USA
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Environmental Management. 11(1): 53-60.
The streams tributary to acidic Cone Pond, pH 4.5-4.8, and circumneutral Black Pond, pH 5.3-6.4, in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, USA, were monitored for a year. The watersheds of these two ponds were characterized in terms of geology and stream hydrology. Chemical gradients and patterns in rock weathering and groundwater discharge explain many of the differences in mineral content and acidity of the streams. The rocks of Black watershed produced an average of ten times the equivalent of basic cations as rocks from Cone watershed. This is on the same order as the difference in acidity of the two streams. Downstream changes in stream chemistry follow differing patterns, but reflect the same principle of residence time and water path length controlling chemical evolution of streamwater. Watershed and aquatic managers may use these parameters in an inexpensive and simple assessment of the susceptibility of individual streams and ponds to acidification. A method is recommended to determine quickly the potential influence of bedrock type to aquatic chemistry.
KeywordsAcid precipitation; Acidification; New Hampshire; Ponds; Rock weathering; Stream chemistry; Streams; White Mountains
Bailey, Scott W.; Hornbeck, James W.; Martin, C. Wayne; Buso, Donald C. 1987. Watershed factors affecting stream acidification in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, USA. Environmental Management. 11(1): 53-60.