Environmental Geology and Water Sciences

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 99–106 | Cite as

Chloride loading in the South Fork of the Shenandoah River, Virginia, U.S.A.

  • W. Cullen Sherwood


Loading trends and sources of CI in the South Fork of the Shenandoah River, Virginia were analyzed for the period 1929–1982. CI has increased from approximately 2 mg/L (2,776 tons/yr) to over 10 mg/L (14,256 tons/yr). Natural CI is estimated to be 1.01 mg/L (1,388 tons/yr) with precipitation providing 0.99 mg/L and rocks 0.02 mg/L. From 1929 to 1949 CI concentrations were relatively constant and independent of discharge, conforming to the Type II curve of Davis and Zobrist (1978), indicative of natural or relatively uncontaminated streams. Since 1952 CI concentrations increased exponentially as river discharge decreases conforming to the Type I curve of Davis and Zobrist for polluted streams. Since 1965 anthropogenic CI loading at 12,868 tons/yr has remained relatively constant. Four major sources contribute 92.2 percent (11,871 tons/yr) of the anthropogenic CI: (1) deicing salts—4,149 tons/yr, (2) domestic sewage—3,015 tons/yr, (3) livestock and poultry wastes—2,458 tons/yr, and (4) commercial fertilizers—2,249 tons/yr.


Precipitation Sewage River Discharge Domestic Sewage Commercial Fertilizer 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Cullen Sherwood
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geology and GeographyJames Madison UniversityHarrisonburgUSA

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