Black acidic snow in the remote Scottish Highlands

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

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Author(s)

  • T. D. Davies
  • P. W. Abrahams
  • M. Tranter
  • I. Blackwood
  • C. E. Vincent

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-61
Journal / PublicationNature
Volume312
Issue number5989
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

Parts of Scotland experience large acidic depositions1,2 which may result in ecological damage3. Some highland areas appear to suffer enhanced acidic input2 which frequently exhibits pronounced episodicity4. Acidic snowfall leads to acidic flushes during snow-pack melting5,6. Polluted grey snow layers have been reported in Scandinavia7-10, but we present the first documented case remote from major pollution sources of a distinctive black, acid snowfall episode with pH 3.O. The particulate deposit was very large and consisted of ∼29% carbon; the remaining fraction included particles which could be identified as coal fly-ash. The heavily polluted air originated to the south-south east and was probably transported at an altitude of ∼1,000-1,500 m in association with a stable atmospheric layer whereupon particles were efficiently scavenged by snow. Such transport and deposition mechanisms may produce the greater pollutant deposition sometimes observed in mountain areas2. Similar events may not be rare and could make an important contribution to the annual pollutant input. © 1984 Nature Publishing Group.

Citation Format(s)

Black acidic snow in the remote Scottish Highlands. / Davies, T. D.; Abrahams, P. W.; Tranter, M.; Blackwood, I.; Brimblecombe, P.; Vincent, C. E.

In: Nature, Vol. 312, No. 5989, 1984, p. 58-61.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal