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Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 31, Issue 1–2, pp 165–1793 | Cite as

Organic versus anthropogenic acidity in tributaries of the kejimkujik watersheds in Western Nova Scotia

  • J. Kerekes
  • S. Beauchamp
  • R. Tordon
  • C. Tremblay
  • T. Pollock
Article

Abstract

Dilute waters (Ca = 0.3 to 0.8 mg L−1) respond by depressed pH levels throughout the year to existing atmospheric wet deposition of sulphate (20 kg ha−1yr−1).This occurs in southwest Nova Scotia particularly during the cold, wet season when runoff is high. Colored waters of similar Ca levels receiving runoff from peaty catchments exhibit pH values one unit lower (4.7 to 4.1) than those of catchments of similar Ca levels but free from peat deposits (pH > 5.3). In colored streams sulphate and organic anions show opposing cyclic patterns while the negative gran alkalinity is the near mirror image of sulphate. Sulphate anion peaks during the high spring discharge when the organic anion concentration is lowest. Sulphate suddenly drops during the summer months during periods of high evapotranspiration, low water table and runoff, when the concentration of organic anions is highest. Both Al and Fe follow cyclic patterns similar to that of the organic anions while H+ reflects that of the sulphate anion. Hydrogen ion concentration is always higher than that of sulphate in very colored waters, particularly during the summer months when organic anion concentrations are very high. Analysis of data in the tributaries in the Kejimkujik watersheds indicates that while considerable organic acidity is present in colored waters, anthropogenic sulphate further increases the free acidity of these waters, particularly at times of high discharge.

Keywords

Nova Scotia Organic Anion Cyclic Pattern Spring Discharge Peat Deposit 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Kerekes
    • 1
  • S. Beauchamp
    • 1
  • R. Tordon
    • 1
  • C. Tremblay
    • 1
  • T. Pollock
    • 2
  1. 1.Canadian Wildlife Service Environment Canada c/o Department of BiologyDalhousie UniversityHalifax, Nova Scotia
  2. 2.Water Quality Branch Environment CanadaMoncton, New Brunswick

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