Precipitation and streamwater volume and chemical composition have been measured since 1974 at Langtjern, a small, acid (pH 4.6–4.8) lake on granitic-gneissic bedrock in coniferous forest located ca. 100 km north of Oslo, Norway. The area receives acid precipitation (weighted average pH 4.28). The 7-year input-output budgets for major ions at two terrestrial subcatchments indicate that for Na, K, SO4 and Cl outputs approximately equal inputs, for H+, NH4 and NO3 outputs are much less than inputs, and for Ca, Mg and Al outputs greatly exceed inputs. The sulfate budgets (which include estimated dry deposit) indicate that the terrestrial catchment retains about 20% of the incoming sulfate, perhaps due to absorption in the soil, plant uptake, reduction and storage in peaty areas or reduction and release of H2S to the atmosphere.
The budgets for Langtjern lake itself indicate that for most components output equals inputs to within 10%, i.e. these compounds simply pass through the lake. For H+, and possibly NH4 and NO3, inputs exceed outputs. Because gaseous phases are not measured the N budgets are uncertain. A mechanism that leads to ‘retention’ of both H+ and SO4 is sulfate reduction and incorporation of sulfides in the lake sediments. Such has been documented in the experimentally-acidified Lake 223, Experimental Lakes Area, Ontario, Canada. Although there is no evidence suggesting the development of anoxic bottom waters at Langtjern, such reduction might occur at the water-sediment interface and in the sediments.
The budgets for the pollutant components H+ and SO4 at Langtjern differ substantially from those at the relatively unaffected Lake 239, in the Experimental Lakes Area.
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Wright, R.F. Input-output budgets at Langtjern, a small acidified lake in southern Norway. Hydrobiologia 101, 1–12 (1983). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00008651