Changes in the Chemistry of Small Irish lakes
A re-survey of acid-sensitive lakes in Ireland (initial survey 1997) was carried out during spring 2007 (n = 60). Since 1997, atmospheric emissions of sulfur dioxide and deposition of non-marine sulfate (SO4 2−) in Ireland have decreased by ~63 and 36%, respectively. Comparison of water chemistry between surveys showed significant decreases in the concentration of SO4 2−, non-marine SO4 2−, and non-marine base cations. In concert, alkalinity increased significantly; however, no change was observed in surface water pH and total aluminum. High inter-annual variability in sea salt inputs and increasing (albeit non-significant) dissolved organic carbon may have influenced the response of pH and total aluminum (as ~70% is organic aluminum). Despite their location on the western periphery of Europe, and dominant influence from Atlantic air masses, the repeat survey suggests that the chemistry of small Irish lakes has shown a significant response to reductions in air pollution driven primarily by the implementation of the Gothenburg Protocol under the UNECE Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution.
KeywordsLake chemistry Sulfate Emissions Sea salts Dissolved organic carbon
Financial support for this research was provided by the Irish Environmental Protection Agency under the Climate Change Research Programme (CCRP) 2007–2013 and the Canada Research Chair and NSERC discovery grant programs. We gratefully thank E. P. Farrell and T. Cummins for providing laboratory facilities at University College Dublin, and T. Clair for assistance with lake chemistry quality control. Finally, this work would not have been possible without the extraordinary efforts of the field crew: Jim Johnson, Brent Parsons, Tim Seabert, Koji Tominaga, Colin Whitfield and Antoni Zbieranowski.
- Aherne, J., M. Kelly-Quinn, and E.P. Farrell. 2002. A survey of lakes in the Republic of Ireland: Hydrochemical characteristics and acid sensitivity. Ambio 31(6): 452–459.Google Scholar
- Almer, B., W. Dickson, C. Ekström, and E. Hornström. 1978. Sulphur pollution and the aquatic ecosystem. In Sulfur in the environment, ed. J.O. Nriagu, 271–311. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Bailey, M.D., J.J. Bowman, C. O’Connell, and P.J. Flanagan. 1986. Air quality in Ireland. Dublin: An Foras Forbartha.Google Scholar
- Bashir, W., F. McGovern, M. Ryan, and L. Burke. 2008. Chemical trends in background air quality and the ionic composition of precipitation for the period 1980–2004 from samples collected at Valentia Observatory, CoKerry, Ireland. Journal of Environmental Monitoring 10: 730–738.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bowman, J.J. 1991. Acid sensitive waters in Ireland: The impact of a major new sulfur emission on sensitive surface waters in an unacidified region. Dublin: Environmental Research Unit.Google Scholar
- EMEP. 1996. Manual for sampling and chemical analysis. http://www.tarantula.nilu.no/projects/ccc/qa.
- European Environmental Agency. 2009. European community emission inventory report 1990–2007 under the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP). EEA Technical Report No 8/2009, Copenhagen. doi: 10.2800/12414.
- Gorham, E. 1985. The chemistry of bog waters. In Chemical processes in lakes, ed. W. Stumm, 330–363. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Huntrieser, H., J. Heland, H. Schlager, C. Forster, A. Stohl, H. Aufmhoff, F. Arnold, H.E. Scheel, et al. 2005. Intercontinental air pollution transport from North America to Europe: Experimental evidence from airborne measurements and surface observations. Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres 110: 1–22.Google Scholar
- Jeffries, D.S., T.A. Clair, S. Couture, P. Dillon, J. Dupont, B. Keller, D. McNicol, M. Turner, et al. 2003. Assessing the recovery of lakes in southeastern Canada from the effects of acidic deposition. Ambio 32(3): 176–182.Google Scholar
- Kernan, M., R.W. Batterbee, C.J. Curtis, D.T. Monteith, and E.M. Shilland. 2010. Recovery of lakes and streams in the UK from the effects of acid rain: UK acid waters monitoring network 20 year interpretive report, 465. London: University College London.Google Scholar
- Kopáček, J., D. Hardekopf, V. Majer, P. Psenakova, P. Stuchlik, and J. Vesely. 2004. Response of alpine lakes and soils to changes in acid deposition: the MAGIC model applied to the Tatra Mountain region, Slovakia-Poland. Journal of Limnology 63: 143–156.Google Scholar
- Moldan, F., J. Hruška, C. Evans, and M. Hauhs. 2011. Experimental simulation of the effects of extreme climatic events on major ions, acidity and dissolved organic carbon leaching from a forested catchment, Gårdsjön, Sweden. Biogeochemistry. doi: 10.1007/s10533-010-9567-6
- Möller, D. 1990. The Na/Cl ratio in rainwater and the seasalt chloride cycle. Tellus 42B: 254–262.Google Scholar
- Salmi, T., A. Määttä, P. Anttila, T. Ruoho-Airola, and T. Amnell. 2002. Detecting trends of annual values of atmospheric pollutants by the Mann-Kendall test and Sen’s slope estimates—the Excel template application MAKESENS. Publications on Air Quality No. 31. Helsinki: Finnish Meteorological Institute.Google Scholar
- Skjelkvåle, B.L., C.D. Evans, T. Larsson, A. Hindar, and G.G. Raddum. 2003. Recovery from acidification in European surface waters: A view to the future. Ambio 32(3): 170–175.Google Scholar
- Sweeney, J., T. Brereton, C. Byrne, R. Charlton, C. Emblow, C. Fealy, N. Holden, M. Jones, et al. 2003. Climate change: Scenarios and impacts. Final report. Environmental RTDI Programme 2000–2006. Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland.Google Scholar
- UNECE. 1999. The 1999 protocol to abate acidification, eutrophication and ground-level ozone. Document ECE/EB.AIR/67. New York, Geneva: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.Google Scholar