Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 112, Issue 3–4, pp 217–227 | Cite as

Living in a Dusty World: Airborne Dust as a Key Factor for Alpine Lakes

  • Roland Psenner


For a long time studies on precipitation and lake-water chemistry have focussed on the deposition of strong acids. Dust in snow and rain was analyzed much less intensively, but recent findings suggest that it may be the missing link which explains why many low-alkalinity lakes in the Alps and the Pyrenees did not become acidic and nutrient levels are seasonally high, whereas lakes in areas which are rarely influenced by dust depositions, for instance in Scandinavia, have acidified. Beside being a dominant factor for nutrient inputs to oceans, rain forests and remote lakes, dust can also play a major role in global warming and cooling, and it may significantly contribute to soil formation at mountain sites in the Mediterranean. I suggest that future changes in dust deposition and warming will be key factors for the development of alpine lakes.

acidification dust deposition high mountain lakes 


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roland Psenner
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Zoology and LimnologyUniversity of InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria (e-mail

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