LONG-TERM TRENDS IN PRECIPITATION CHEMISTRY AT HUBBARD BROOK, NEW HAMPSHIRE

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Abstract

A continuous, 19-year record (1963–1982) of weekly, bulk precipitation chemistry at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in West Thornton, New Hampshire shows no statistically significant trend in annual volume-weighted concentrations of hydrogen ion and nitrate, but a 34% decrease in sulfate, a 34% decrease in ammonium, a 63% decrease in chloride, a 79% decrease in magnesium and an 86% decrease in calcium during the period. Nitrate concentrations increased from 1964 to 1971 and H-ion concentrations decreased after 1970. Frequency distributions of the concentrations of the chemical components of precipitation are skewed. The range of H-ion concentrations in weekly samples has narrowed, and the frequency distribution has shifted toward higher concentrations (lower pH) during the last 19 years. Highest concentrations generally occur with lowest amounts of precipitation for most ions, but low concentrations can occur with either low or high amounts of precipitation. Time trends in deposition generally parallel trends in concentration over the 19-year period. Chemical deposition generally increases with increasing amount of precipitation in weekly samples.

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