The acidity of fresh water is naturally variable, but most lakes and rivers have a pH within the range of 6 to 9. Although any pH less than 7 can technically be considered acid, the terms ‘acidic’ and ‘acidified’ are usually reserved for freshwater systems which have an alkalinity of less than zero, and such systems usually have a pH of less than 5. The acidity is the result of both the presence of acids and the relative lack of alkaline bases. Generally, acidic lakes are located in areas of granitic or siliceous bedrock and poorly buffered, calcium-poor soils, or thin soils, or in areas which have marked acidic precipitation. In the United States such areas are found in the east of the country, particularly in the Northeast where the climate is such that excess rainfall results in the leaching of base cations from soils and their acidification (see Figure A4). Those lakes with alkalinities of less than 100 μeq/L (5 ppm calcium carbonate) are generally considered to be sensitive to...
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© 1999 Kluwer Academic Publishers
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Mattson, M.D. (1999). Acid lakes and rivers. In: Environmental Geology. Encyclopedia of Earth Science. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-4494-1_4
Publisher Name: Springer, Dordrecht
Print ISBN: 978-0-412-74050-3
Online ISBN: 978-1-4020-4494-6
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