Acid-base chemistry and aluminum transport in an acidic watershed and pond in New Hampshire

Scott W. Bailey, Charles T. Driscoll, James W. Hornbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Cone Pond is one of the few acidic, clear-water ponds in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, a region dominated by high inputs of strong acids from atmospheric deposition and low base content of bedrock. Monitoring was conducted for 13 months to compare and contrast the acid-base chemistry of the terrestrial and aquatic portions of the watershed. Variations in Al concentration and speciation in drainage waters were correlated with changes in the supply of naturally occurring organic ligands. During the study period, the pond retained 28% of Al inputs, including nearly half of the inputs of organically complexed Al. Chemical equilibrium calculations indicated that the entire water-column was oversaturated with respect to the solubility of synthetic gibbsite during summer, as was the hypolimnion during winter. Retention of Al resulted from an increase in pH in the hypolimnion concomitant with SO42- reduction, and from loss of organic anions in epilimnetic waters. Acid neutralizing capacity (ANC) generated in the pond primarily through SO42- reduction and base cation (CB) release was balanced by ANC consumed as a result of Al retention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-91
Number of pages23
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1995


  • Acid neutralizing capacity
  • acidification
  • aluminum
  • dissolved organic carbon
  • lake
  • watershed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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