Aluminum Leaching Response to Acid Precipitation: Effects on High-Elevation Watersheds in the Northeast

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Science  20 Apr 1979:
Vol. 204, Issue 4390, pp. 304-306
DOI: 10.1126/science.204.4390.304


Atmospheric inputs of sulfuric acid and nitric acid to noncalcareous higher-elevation watersheds in the White Mountain and Adirondack regions lead to comparatively high concentrations of dissolved aluminum in surface and ground waters. This phenomenon appears to result from modern increases in soil aluminum leaching. Transport of this aluminum to acidified lakes can lead to fish mortality. Combined results from areas of silicate bedrock in the United States and Europe suggest that aluminum represents an important biogeochemical linkage between terrestrial and aquatic environments exposed to acid precipitation.