Publications (3)2.32 Total impact
Article: The adsorption and release of sulfur in mineral and organic soils of the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta, Canada.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Mineral soil and fibric peat from acid-sensitive western boreal catchments in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region of Alberta, Canada were evaluated for their ability to adsorb and release SO(4)(2-). Laboratory batch studies indicated that SO(4)(2-) adsorption in mineral soil from both the A and B horizons exhibits a limited response to elevated SO(4)(2-) concentrations, with the slope of initial mass isotherms <0.2 for all soils, likely due to low iron and aluminum oxide content. Although S retention is the dominant process in peat soils in the region, drought simulations in the lab using fibric peat collected from a poor fen exhibited as much as a five-fold increase in SO(4)(2-) concentration after drying and rewetting. Given the limited SO(4)(2-) adsorption capacity of mineral soils and the potential drought-induced S release from peatlands in this region where increased S deposition is expected, further investigation of acidification impacts is warranted.Journal of Environmental Quality 39(3):1108-12. · 2.32 Impact Factor
Article: Modelling acidification, recovery and target loads for headwater catchments in Nova Scotia, Canada[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The response of twenty acid-sensitive headwater catchments in Nova Scotia to acidic deposition was investigated for the period 1850?2100 using a dynamic hydrochemical model (MAGIC: Model of Acidification of Groundwater in Catchments). To ensure robust model simulation, MAGIC was calibrated to the long-term chemical trend in annual lake observations (13?20 years). Model simulations indicated that the surface waters of all twenty catchments acidified to the 1970s but showed subsequent recovery (increases in acid neutralising capacity (ANC) and pH) as sulphate deposition decreased. However, under proposed future emissions reductions (approximately 50% of current deposition) simulated ANC and pH will not return to estimated pre-industrial levels by 2100. An ANC of 20 ?mol<sub>c</sub> L<sup>?1</sup> and pH of 5.4 were defined as acceptable chemical thresholds (or critical chemical limits) for aquatic organisms in the current study. Under the proposed emissions reductions only one catchment is predicted to remain below the critical limit for ANC by 2100; three additional catchments are predicted to remain below the critical limit for pH. Dynamic models may be used to estimate target loads, i.e., the required deposition reductions to achieve recovery within a given time. Setting target loads at approximately 30% of current depositions would allow three of the four lakes to reach the chemical criteria by 2030. In contrast to the generally good prognosis for surface waters, soils lost an average of 32% of estimated initial base saturation and recovery is estimated to be very slow, averaging 23% lower than pre-acidification levels in 2100.
Article: A comparison of weathering rates for acid-sensitive catchments in Nova Scotia, Canada and their impact on critical load calculations[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Critical loads are strongly dependent on the rate of release of base cations from the soil matrix. This study compares five commonly used methods for estimating weathering rates at five acid-sensitive catchments across Nova Scotia, Canada. Three of the methods (Zr Depletion, Clay Content, and the PROFILE model) are based on soil profiles and consider only the rooting zone, whereas the two remaining methods (the soil acidification model MAGIC and catchment Mass Balance Deficit) are catchment-based, and account for contributions from all soils within a catchment. Each weathering estimate method resulted in similar values among the five catchments, indicating similar sensitivity to acidic deposition among the study areas. Base cation weathering estimates were very low using the three soil profile-based methods, with rates varying from 3 to 13 mmolc m− 2 a− 1. In contrast, catchment-based methods predicted base cation weathering rates an order of magnitude higher (60 to 155 mmolc m− 2 a− 1), possibly due to spatial heterogeneity of the soil deposits, and contributions from deeper soil (till). Critical load (sulphur and nitrogen) estimates using the profile-based weathering rates indicate that critical loads for forest soils are currently exceeded at all catchments by 23 to 61 mmolc m− 2 a− 1. Predicted future reductions in acidic deposition should reduce the magnitude of critical load exceedance, but will not result in the catchments reaching a non-exceeded state.Geoderma.