Advertisement

Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, Volume 219, Issue 1–4, pp 11–26 | Cite as

Acidification and Prognosis for Future Recovery of Acid-Sensitive Streams in the Southern Blue Ridge Province

  • Timothy J. Sullivan
  • Bernard J. Cosby
  • William A. Jackson
  • Kai U. Snyder
  • Alan T. Herlihy
Article

Abstract

This study applied the Model of Acidification of Groundwater in Catchments (MAGIC) to estimate the sensitivity of 66 watersheds in the Southern Blue Ridge Province of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, United States, to changes in atmospheric sulfur (S) deposition. MAGIC predicted that stream acid neutralizing capacity (ANC) values were above 20 μeq/L in all modeled watersheds in 1860. Hindcast simulations suggested that the median historical acidification of the modeled streams was a loss of about 25 μeq/L of ANC between 1860 and 2005. Although the model projected substantial changes in soil and stream chemistry since pre-industrial times, simulated future changes in response to emission controls were small. Results suggested that modeled watersheds would not change to a large degree with respect to stream ANC or soil % base saturation over the next century in response to a rather large decrease in atmospheric S deposition. Nevertheless, the magnitude of the relatively small simulated future changes in stream and soil chemistry depended on the extent to which S emissions are reduced. This projection of minimal recovery in response to large future S emissions reductions is important for designing appropriate management strategies for acid-impacted water and soil resources. Exploratory analyses were conducted to put some of the major modeling uncertainties into perspective.

Keywords

Sulfur Atmospheric deposition Base cation Acidification Modeling 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was funded by a contract from the U.S. Forest Service, Southern Research Station, to E&S Environmental Chemistry, Inc. Interpolated wet deposition estimates were provided by J. Grimm. This manuscript has not been subjected to agency review, and no official endorsement is implied.

References

  1. Bulger, A. J., Cosby, B. J., Dolloff, C. A., Eshleman, K. N., Webb, J. R., Galloway, J. N. (1999). SNP:FISH. Shenandoah National Park: fish in sensitive habitats. project final report—Vol. II. stream water chemistry and discharge, and synoptic water quality surveys. Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.Google Scholar
  2. Byun, D. W., & Ching, J. K. S. (1999). Science algorithms of the EPA Models-3 Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) modeling system, EPA/600/R-99/030. Washington, DC: U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development.Google Scholar
  3. Cook, R. B., Elwood, J. W., Turner, R. R., Bogle, M. A., Mulholland, P. J., & Palumbo, A. V. (1994). Acid-base chemistry of high-elevation streams in the Great Smoky Mountains. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 72, 331–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cosby, B. J., Wright, R. F., Hornberger, G. M., & Galloway, J. N. (1985a). Modelling the effects of acid deposition: assessment of a lumped parameter model of soil water and streamwater chemistry. Water Resources Research, 21, 51–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cosby, B. J., Wright, R. F., Hornberger, G. M., & Galloway, J. N. (1985b). Modelling the effects of acid deposition: estimation of long-term water quality responses in a small forested catchment. Water Resources Research, 21, 1591–1601.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cosby, B. J., Hornberger, G. M., Ryan, P. F., & Wolock, D. M. (1989). MAGIC/DDRP final report, project completion report. Corvallis, OR: U. S. Environmental Protection Agency Direct/Delayed Response Project.Google Scholar
  7. Cosby, B. J., Jenkins, A., Ferrier, R. C., Miller, J. D., & Walker, T. A. B. (1990). Modelling stream acidification in afforested catchments: Long-term reconstructions at two sites in central Scotland. Journal of Hydrology, 120, 143–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cosby, B. J., Norton, S. A., & Kahl, J. S. (1996). Using a paired-catchment manipulation experiment to evaluate a catchment-scale biogeochemical model. The Science of the Total Environment, 183, 49–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cosby, B. J., Ferrier, R. C., Jenkins, A., & Wright, R. F. (2001). Modelling the effects of acid deposition: refinements, adjustments and inclusion of nitrogen dynamics in the MAGIC model. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 5, 499–517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Elliott, K. J., Vose, J. M., Knoepp, J. D., Johnson, D. W., Swank, W. J., & Jackson, W. (2008). Simulated effects of altered atmospheric sulfur deposition on nutrient cycling in Class I Wilderness Areas in western North Carolina. Journal of Environmental Quality, 37, 1419–1431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Grimm, J. W., & Lynch, J. A. (1997). Enhanced wet deposition estimates using modeled precipitation inputs. Final report to the USDA Forest Service, Northeast Forest Experiment Station, Northern Global Change Research Program (23–721).Google Scholar
  12. Hornberger, G. M., Cosby, B. J., & Wright, R. F. (1989). Historical reconstructions and future forecasts of regional surface water acidification in southernmost Norway. Water Resources Research, 25, 2009–2018.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Jenkins, A., Cosby, B. J., Ferrier, R. C., Walker, T. A. B., & Miller, J. D. (1990a). Modelling stream acidification in afforested catchments: An assessment of the relative effects of acid deposition and afforestation. Journal of Hydrology, 120, 163–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jenkins, A., Whitehead, P. G., Cosby, B. J., & Birks, H. J. B. (1990b). Modelling long-term acidification: A comparison with diatom reconstructions and the implication for reversibility. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, B, 327, 435–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jenkins, A., Whitehead, P. G., Musgrove, T. J., & Cosby, B. J. (1990c). A regional model of acidification in Wales. Journal of Hydrology, 116, 403–416.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program (NAPAP). (1991). Integrated assessment report. Washington, DC: National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program.Google Scholar
  17. Norton, S. A., Wright, R. F., Kahl, J. S., & Schofield, J. P. (1992). The MAGIC simulation of surface water at, and first year results from, the Bear Brook Watershed Manipulation, Maine, USA. Environmental Pollution, 77, 279–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Oreskes, N., Shrader-Frechette, K., & Belitz, K. (1994). Verification, validation, and confirmation of numerical models in the earth sciences. Science, 263, 641–646.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Shannon, J. D. (1998). Calculation of trends from 1900 through 1990 for sulfur and NO x -N deposition concentrations of sulfate and nitrate in precipitation, and atmospheric concentrations of SO x and NO x species over the Southern Appalachians. April: Report to SAMI. 1998.Google Scholar
  20. Sullivan, T. J. (1993). Whole ecosystem nitrogen effects research in Europe. Environmental Science & Technology, 27(8), 1482–1486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Sullivan, T. J. (2000). Aquatic effects of acidic deposition (p. 373). Boca Raton: Lewis Publ.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Sullivan, T. J., & Cosby, B. J. (1998). Modeling the concentration of aluminum in surface waters. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 105, 643–659.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sullivan, T. J., & Cosby, B. J. (2002). Critical loads of sulfur deposition to protect streams within Joyce Kilmer and Shining Rock Wilderness areas from future acidification. Report prepared for USDA Forest Service, Asheville, NC. Corvallis, OR: E&S Environmental Chemistry, Inc.Google Scholar
  24. Sullivan, T. J., & Cosby, B. J. (2004). Aquatic critical load development for the Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia. Report Prepared for USDA Forest Service, Monongahela National Forest, Elkins, WV. Corvallis, OR: E&S Environmental Chemistry, Inc.Google Scholar
  25. Sullivan, T. J., Cosby, B. J., Webb, J. R., Snyder, K. U., Herlihy, A. T., Bulger, A. J., et al. (2002a). Assessment of the effects of acidic deposition on aquatic resources in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Report prepared for the Southern Appalachian Mountains Initiative (SAMI). Corvallis, OR: E&S Environmental Chemistry, Inc.Google Scholar
  26. Sullivan, T. J., Johnson, D. W., & Munson, R. (2002b). Assessment of effects of acid deposition on forest resources in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Report prepared for the Southern Appalachian Mountains Initiative (SAMI). Corvallis: E&S Environmental Chemistry, Inc.Google Scholar
  27. Sullivan, T. J., Cosby, B. J., Herlihy, A. T., Webb, J. R., Bulger, A. J., Snyder, K. U., et al. (2004). Regional model projections of future effects of sulfur and nitrogen deposition on streams in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Water Resources Research, 40(2), W02101. doi: 10.1029/2003WR001998.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sullivan, T. J., Cosby, B. J., Snyder, K. U., Herlihy, A. T., Jackson, B. (2007). Model-based assessment of the effects of acidic deposition on sensitive watershed resources in the national forests of North Carolina, Tennessee, and South Carolina. Final report prepared for USDA Forest Service, Asheville, NC. Corvallis, OR: E&S Environmental Chemistry, Inc. http://www.fs.fed.us/air/documents/MAGIC_Modeling_Report_October_2007.pdf.
  29. Sullivan, T. J., Cosby, B. J., Webb, J. R., Dennis, R. L., Bulger, A. J., & Deviney, F. A., Jr. (2008). Streamwater acid–base chemistry and critical loads of atmospheric sulfur deposition in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 137, 85–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Wigington, P. J., Baker, J. P., DeWalle, D. R., Kretser, W. A., Murdoch, P. S., Simonin, H. A., et al. (1993). Episodic acidification of streams in the northeastern United States: Chemical and biological results of the Episodic Response Project. EPA/600/R-93/190, Washington, DC: U. S. Environmental Protection Agency.Google Scholar
  31. Wright, R. F., Cosby, B. J., Flaten, M. B., & Reuss, J. O. (1990). Evaluation of an acidification model with data from manipulated catchments in Norway. Nature, 343, 53–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wright, R. F., Lotse, E., & Semb, E. (1994). Experimental acidification of alpine catchments at Sogndal, Norway: Results after 8 years. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 72, 297–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy J. Sullivan
    • 1
  • Bernard J. Cosby
    • 2
  • William A. Jackson
    • 3
  • Kai U. Snyder
    • 5
  • Alan T. Herlihy
    • 4
  1. 1.E&S Environmental ChemistryCorvallisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Environmental ScienceUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  3. 3.USDA Forest ServiceAshevilleUSA
  4. 4.Department of Fisheries and WildlifeOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA
  5. 5.Land Use Planning and Transportation DepartmentMultnomah CountyPortlandUSA

Personalised recommendations