, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 1–11 | Cite as

Long- and short-term changes in sulfate deposition: Effects of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments

  • Gene E. Likens
  • Thomas J. Butler
  • Donald C. Buso


Annual, volume-weighted concentrations ofSO42− in bulk precipitation have declinedsteadily (−0.44 μmol/liter-yr) since 1965 atthe Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (HBEF), NH inresponse to decreases in regional SO2 emissions(r2 = 0.74). Similar declines in concentrationshave occurred in wet-only precipitation at HBEF and atnearby sites since 1978. However, decreases inSO42− concentrations following passage ofthe U.S. Clean Air Act Amendments in 1990, were notunusual from the perspective of long-term data fromthe HBEF. Statistically significant declines (−5.6mol/ha-yr) in bulk deposition of SO42− also have occurred since 1965 in relation to decreases inSO2 emissions (r2 = 0.58), but annualvariations in deposition also are strongly related toamount of precipitation and other factors.

dry deposition Hubbard Brook long-term data precipitation chemistry SO2 emissions sulfate 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Buso DC, Likens GE & Eaton JS (2000) Chemistry of Precipitation, Stream Water and Lake Water from the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study: A Record of Sampling Protocols and Analytical Procedures. USDA Forest Service (In Press)Google Scholar
  2. Butler TJ, Likens GE & Stunder BJ (2000) Regional scale impacts of Phase I of the Clean Air Act Amendments: The relationship between emissions and concentrations, both wet and dry (submitted for publication)Google Scholar
  3. Driscoll CT, Likens GE, Hedin LO, Eaton JS & Bormann FH (1989) Changes in the chemistry of surface waters: 25-year results at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, New Hampshire. Environ. Sci. Technol. 23(2): 137-143Google Scholar
  4. Environment Canada (1998) 1997 Annual Report on the Federal-Provincial Agreements for the Eastern Canada Acid Rain Program. 0-662-6300-3 (Cat. No. EN40-11/29-1997) ISSN 0846-3964. Minister of Public Works and Government Services CanadaGoogle Scholar
  5. Environmental Protection Agency (1998) EPA National Air Pollutant Emission Trends Update, 1970-1997. EPA-454/E-98-007. Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Research Triangle Park, NC, USAGoogle Scholar
  6. Federer CA, Flynn LD, Martin CW, Hornbeck JW & Pierce RS (1990) Thirty Years of Hydrometeorologic Data at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, New Hampshire. USDA Forest Service, General Technical Report NE-141. 44 ppGoogle Scholar
  7. Jefferies DS, Lam DCL, Wong I & Moran MD (2000) Assessment of changes in lake pH arising from present levels and expected reductions in acidic deposition. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. (In Press)Google Scholar
  8. Likens GE (1992) An Ecosystem Approach: Its Use and Abuse. Excellence in Ecology, Book 3. The Ecology Institute, Oldendorf-Luhe, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  9. Likens GE & Bormann FH (1995) Biogeochemistry of a Forested Ecosystem, Second Edition. Springer-Verlag, New York Inc. 159 ppGoogle Scholar
  10. Likens GE, Bormann FH & Johnson NM (1972) Acid rain. Environment 14(2): 33-40Google Scholar
  11. Likens GE, Hedin LO & Butler TJ (1990a) Some long-term precipitation chemistry patterns at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest: Extremes and averages. Verh. Internat. Verein. Limnol. 24(1): 128-135Google Scholar
  12. Likens GE, Bormann FH, Hedin LO, Driscoll CT & Eaton JS (1990b) Dry deposition of sulfur: A 23-yr record for the Hubbard Brook Forest Ecosystem. Tellus 42B: 319-329Google Scholar
  13. Likens GE, Driscoll CT & Buso DC (1996a) Long-term effects of acid rain: Response and recovery of a forest ecosystem. Science 272: 244-246Google Scholar
  14. Likens GE, Driscoll CT & Buso DC (1996b) Acid rain revisited? Science 273: 293-295Google Scholar
  15. Likens GE, Weathers KC, Butler TJ & Buso DC (1998) Solving the acid rain problem. Science 282(5396): 1991-1992Google Scholar
  16. Lovett GM, Likens GE & Nolan SS (1992) Dry deposition of sulfur to the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest: A preliminary comparison of methods. In: Schwartz SE & Slinn WGN (coordinators) Fifth Internat. Conf. on Precipitation Scavenging and Atmosphere-Surface Exchange. Vol. 3-The Summers Volume: Applications and Appraisals (pp 1391-1401). Hemisphere Publishing CorpGoogle Scholar
  17. Lovett GM, Bowser JJ & Edgerton ES (1997) Atmospheric deposition to watersheds in complex terrain. Hydrological Processes 11: 645-654Google Scholar
  18. Lynch JA, Grimm JW & Bowersox VC (1995) Trends in precipitation chemistry in the United States: A national perspective, 1980-1992. Atmos. Environ. 29(11): 1231-1246Google Scholar
  19. Martin CW, Likens GE & Buso DC (2000) Comparison of long-term precipitation chemistry measurements at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, New Hampshire. Water, Air, and Soil Pollut. (In Press)Google Scholar
  20. Masters GM (1998) Introduction to Environmental Engineering, 2nd edn. Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  21. National Acid Deposition Program (NADP) (1999) At http://nadp.sws.uinc.eduGoogle Scholar
  22. Shannon JD (1999) Regional trends in wet deposition of sulfate in the United States and SO2 emissions from 1980 through 1995. Atmos. Environ. 33: 807-816Google Scholar
  23. Stoddard, JL, Jeffries DS, Lukewille A, Clair TA, Dillon PJ, Driscoll CT, Forsius M, Johannessen M, Kahl JS, Kellogg JH, Kemp A, Mannio J, Monteith DT, Murdoch PS, Patrick S, Rebsdorf A, Skjelkvale BL, Stainton MP, Traaen T, van Dam H, Webster KE, Wieting J & Wilander A (1999) Regional trends in aquatic recovery from acidification in North America and Europe. Nature 401(6753): 575-578Google Scholar
  24. Weathers KC & Likens GE (1998) Acid rain. In: Rom WN (Ed.) Environmental and Occupational Medicine, 3rd edn. (pp 1549-1561). Lippincott-Raven Publ., PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  25. Weathers KC, Likens GE, Bormann FH, Bicknell SH, Bormann BT, Daube BC Jr, Eaton JS, Galloway JN, Keene WC, Kimball KD, McDowell WH, Siccama TG, Smiley D & Tarrant R (1988) Cloudwater chemistry from ten sites in North America. Environ. Sci. Technol. 22(8): 1018-1026Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gene E. Likens
    • 1
  • Thomas J. Butler
    • 1
  • Donald C. Buso
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Ecosystem StudiesMillbrook

Personalised recommendations