Trends in surface water acidification in Europe and North America (1989-1998)

Brit Lisa Skjelkvåle*, John L. Stoddard, T. Andersen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    86 Citations (Scopus)


    During the last 20 years, emission reductions in Europe and North America have resulted in decreased atmospheric S-deposition of up to 50%, while N-deposition has stayed almost constant. Data from 98 ICP Waters sites were tested for trends in concentrations of major chemical components for the 10-year period 1989-1998 using the nonparametric seasonal Kendall test. The sites were grouped into regions and types for meta-analysis. All of the regions had highly significant downward trends in SO4 2-* concentrations. Nitrate concentrations, on the other hand, show no regional patterns of change. Concentrations of base cations declined in most regions. All regions showed tendencies of increasing DOC. The low ANC sites showed the largest rates of recovery: Neither the high NO3 - or low NO3 - groups of sites exhibited significant trends in NO3 - concentrations. Alpine (non-forested) sites show clear and consistent signals of recovery in ANC and pH, and appropriate (relative to SO4 2-* trends) rates of base cation decline.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)787-792
    Number of pages6
    JournalWater, Air, and Soil Pollution
    Issue number1-4 II
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


    • Acidification
    • Long-term trends
    • Recovery
    • Water chemistry


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