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The extent of regional acidification in north-west Scotland: palaeoecological evidence

Flower, RJ; Jones, VJ; Appleby, PG; Richardson, N; Rippey, B; Rose, NL; Stevenson, AC; (1993) The extent of regional acidification in north-west Scotland: palaeoecological evidence. (ECRC Research Paper 8 ). UCL Environmental Change Research Centre: London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

By examining a series of sensitive lakes on a gradient from high to low acid deposition it is possible to show that the extent of acidification varies according to the level of sulphur deposition in a way that can be predicted from an empirical dose-response model (Battarbee 1989). In the project described below three sensitive sites from areas of low sulphur deposition were examined to determine whether acid deposition has affected these remote lakes and if so whether it has been sufficient to exceed a critical load above which ecological change occurs. Loch Coire nan Arr lies on the Torridonian sandstones of the Applecross area (Figure 1) where sulphur deposition is estimated to be 0. 71 g S m·2 yr"1. This site is included in the DoE UK Acid Waters Monitoring Network (Patrick et al. 1991). Loch Uisge is situated to the south on granodiorite geology in the Morvem Area (Figure 1), where estimated sulphur deposition is 0.76 g S m·2 yr·1 • Both are clear water sites with a mean pH >6 (Table 1), their Ca2+ levels are <70 μeq 1"1 which suggests that they are sensitive to acidification (Battarbee et al 1988). Their relatively high Na+ and er concentrations reflect a marine influence which is a consequence of proximity to the coast. Loch Teanga lies on South Uist in the Outer Hebrides (Figure 1), an area which falls between the 0.8 and 0.4 g S m·2 yr"1 isolines for annual non-marine sulphur deposition over the British Isles. Loch Teanga is more acid than the other sites in this sub-project and also has a water chemistry which clearly reflects its exposure to marine influence (Table 1). The sites were cored in June 1986 {Loch Coire nan Arr and Loch Uisge) and September 1987 (Loch Teanga). Methods for lithostratigraphic, biostratigraphic, radiometric, analysis follow the Royal Society Surface Water Acidification Project (SW AP) protocol (Stevenson et al 1987). Methods for carbonaceous particle and fly-ash analyses follow Rose (1990a, 1990b). The pH history of the lakes is reconstructed using two numerical methods: multiple regression (MR) of the pH preference groups (Flower 1986); and the more statistically robust weighted averaging (WA) method (Birks et al. 1990).

Type: Report
Title: The extent of regional acidification in north-west Scotland: palaeoecological evidence
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.geog.ucl.ac.uk/research/research-centr...
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10110140
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