Environmental Management

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 343–353 | Cite as

A national critical loads framework for atmospheric deposition effects assessment: III. Deposition characterization

  • Bruce Hicks
  • Robert McMillen
  • Robert S. Turner
  • George R. HoldrenJr
  • Timothy C. Strickland


Methods are discussed for describing patterns of current wet and dry deposition under various scenarios. It is proposed that total deposition data across an area of interest are the most relevant in the context of critical loads of acidic deposition, and that the total (i.e., wet plus dry) deposition will vary greatly with the location, the season, and the characteristics of individual subregions. Wet and dry deposition are proposed to differ in such fundamental ways that they must be considered separately. Both wet and dry deposition rates are controlled by the presence of the chemical species in question in the air (at altitudes of typically several kilometers in the case of wet deposition, and in air near the surface for dry). The great differences in the processes involved lead to the conclusion that it is better to measure wet and dry deposition separately and combine these quantifications to produce “total deposition” estimates than to attempt to derive total deposition directly. A number of options for making estimates of total deposition to be used in critical loads assessment scenarios are discussed for wet deposition (buckets and source receptor models) and for dry deposition (throughfall, micrometeorology, surrogate surfaces and collection vessels, inference from concentrations, dry-wet ratios, and source-receptor models).

Key Words

Wet deposition Dry deposition Micrometeorology 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce Hicks
    • 1
  • Robert McMillen
    • 2
  • Robert S. Turner
    • 3
  • George R. HoldrenJr
    • 4
  • Timothy C. Strickland
    • 4
  1. 1.NOAA Air Resources LaboratorySilver SpringUSA
  2. 2.NOAA/ARL Atmospheric Turbulence and Diffusion DivisionOak RidgeUSA
  3. 3.Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Environmental Sciences DivisionOak RidgeUSA
  4. 4.ManTech Environmental Technology Incorporated c/o US EPA Environmental Research LaboratoryCorvallisUSA

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