ACID GASES AND ACID IN RAIN MONITORED FOR OVER 5 YEARS IN RURAL EAST-CENTRAL ENGLAND

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Abstract

Sulphur dioxide has been monitored for many years at several rural sites in east-central England, and its temporal and spatial distribution and sources are reasonably well established. The air quality limit values of the Council of the European Communities are not exceeded.

NO, NO2 and O3 have also been measured continuously for over 5 years at one rural site and for 2 years at another three sites in this region, and preliminary distribution patterns of these gases are available. The oxides of nitrogen, like SO2, are greatest on average in winter months, but O3 is greatest on average in May, although peak hourly events exceeding the World Health Organisation Environmental Health Criteria (WHOEHC) are common during other summer months. The oxides of nitrogen have exceeded the WHOEHC on occasion, and these are thought to have derived mostly from motor vehicles in distant towns, the gases then travelling in shallow inversion layers.

Rainwater acidities and other constituents have been measured for over 7 years at several sites in the region, initially on a weekly basis, but in recent years on a daily and then an hourly basis at a few sites, and preliminary distribution patterns are available. Rainwater acidity is greatest on average in Spring, following the O3 pattern more closely than those of the other gases. Daily deposited acidity is episodal. Hourly concentrations of acidity in rainwater during rain events show more than one type of pattern.

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