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Title: Potential effects of acid precipitation on soils in the humid temperate zone

Author: Frink, C. R.; Voigt, G. K.;

Date: 1976

Source: In: Dochinger, L. S.; Seliga, T. A., eds. Proceedings of the first international symposium on acid precipitation and the forest ecosystem; Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-23. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 685-709

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Acid precipitation is not a new phenomenon. As long as water has fallen on the surface of the earth it has probably contained varying amounts of oxides of carbons, nitrogen and sulfur that increase hydrogen ion activity. This was certainly true when volcanism prevailed. With the appearance of life spasmodic geologic expulsions of elements into the atmosphere were supplemented by more rhythmic biochemical cycles of organic matter production and decomposition. Since the Industrial Revolution consumption of fossil fuel has increased additions of atmospheric contaminants. In the first two and one-half centuries of industrialization combustion of coal caused large discharges of sulfur. In the latter half of the present century oxides of nitrogen have increased sharply because of the advent of the gasoline engine. According to Robinson and Robbins (1968) 73 x 106 tons of sulfur were emitted in the mid-1960's. They estimated that 70 percent of this came from combustion of coal and 16 percent from combustion of petroleum products. Other estimates of man's contamination of the environment based on pollution of river waters with sulfate range from 3.7 x 106 tons (Bertine and Goldberg 1961) to 106 tons (Berner 1971). Kellogg et al. (1972) consider that 106 tons of sulfur per year are contributed to the atmosphere by man. Annual discharges of NO and NO2 into the atmosphere from man's activities are estimated to be about 50 x 106 tons. This is compared with estimated natural emissions of 500 x 106 tons NO2, 5900 x 106 tons NH3 and 1000 x 106 tons N2O (Robinson and Robbins, 1968).

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Frink, C. R.; Voigt, G. K. 1976. Potential effects of acid precipitation on soils in the humid temperate zone. In: Dochinger, L. S.; Seliga, T. A., eds. Proceedings of the first international symposium on acid precipitation and the forest ecosystem; Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-23. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 685-709

 


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