Storage and Release of Major Ionic Contaminants from the Snowpack in the Turkey Lakes Watershed

  • R. G. Semkin
  • D. S. Jeffries
Conference paper


The chemistry of the snowpack and snowmelt was investigated at the Turkey Lakes Watershed during the spring melt period in 1985. Ions in the snowmelt were 2 to 10 times more concentrated than those in the pre-melt snowpack and approximately 50% of the H+, SO4 and NO3 were lost from the snowpack with the first 30% of the melt. Rainfall flowed directly through the snow cover even during the early stages of the melt. Four rain events, which accounted for only 18% of the flowthrough collected, were responsible for about 50% of the H+ and SO4 and 37% of the NO3 ions exported from the snowpack. Sulphate to nitrate equivalent ratios in the pre-melt snowpack were generally about 0.6 but an enrichment of SO4 relative to NO3 in atmospheric deposition during the spring (SO4:NO3 > 1) resulted in snowmelt with an increasing SO4 content relative to NO3.


Snow Cover Atmospheric Deposition Rain Event Equivalent Ratio Bulk Deposition 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. G. Semkin
    • 1
  • D. S. Jeffries
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Contaminants DivisionNational Water Research InstituteBurlingtonCanada

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