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Storage and release of major ionic contaminants from the snowpack in the Turkey Lakes Watershed

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The chemistry of the snowpack and snowmelt was investigated at the Turkey Lakes Watershed during the spring melt period in 1985. Ions in the snowmelt were 2 to 10 times more concentrated than those in the pre-melt snowpack and approximately 50% of the H+, SO4 and NO3 were lost from the snowpack with the first 30% of the melt. Rainfall flowed directly through the snow cover even during the early stages of the melt. Four rain events, which accounted for only 18% of the flowthrough collected, were responsible for about 50% of the H+ and SO4 and 37% of the NO3 ions exported from the snowpack. Sulphate to nitrate equivalent ratios in the pre-melt snowpack were generally about 0.6 but an enrichment of S04 relative to N03 in atmospheric deposition during the spring (SO4:NO3 > 1) resulted in snowmelt with an increasing SO4 content relative to NO3.

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Semkin, R.C., Jeffries, D.S. Storage and release of major ionic contaminants from the snowpack in the Turkey Lakes Watershed. Water Air Soil Pollut 31, 215–221 (1986). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00630836

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  • Sulphate
  • Nitrate
  • Turkey
  • Snow Cover
  • Atmospheric Deposition