Regional application of the PnET-BGC model to assess historical acidification of Adirondack lakes

Jing Zhai, Charles T Driscoll, Timothy J. Sullivan, Bernard J. Cosby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


The Adirondack region of New York has high inputs of acidic deposition and large numbers of acidic lakes. The biogeochemical model, PnET-BGC, was applied to 44 statistically representative Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) lake watersheds in the Adirondacks. Model simulations help provide an understanding of historical effects of acidic deposition on soils and lake waters. Model simulations indicate that median annual concentrations of SO42- and NO3- in the 44 EMAP lakes were 15.9 μeq/L and 3.8 μeq/L, respectively, in 1850, compared to the median current measured values of 88.8 μeq/L and 20.0 μeq/L. Simulated median values of pH, acid-neutralizing capacity (ANC), and soil percent base saturation were 6.63, 67.7 μeq/L, and 12.3%, respectively, in 1850, compared to the median current measured values of 5.95, 27.8 μeq/L, and 7.9%. The estimated historical surface water acidification was greatest in lakes having low ANC below values of 100 μeq/L. This pattern of historical acidification is in agreement with a previous paleolimnological investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberW01421
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology

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