Trends in impact of acidification on groundwater bodies in the Czech Republic; an estimation of atmospheric deposition at the horizon 2015
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The acidification of surface and groundwaters is a long standing issue in the Czech Republic which culminated in the second half of the last century by mass extinction of forest cover in many mountainous regions. The total deposition of sulfur at that time was reaching as much as about 108 kg/ha/year. This resulted in a decrease of alkalinity in groundwaters, decrease of pH and on the other hand an increase in concentration of nitrates, sulfates, berylium and aluminium. Desulfurization of power plants and attenuation of heavy industry leads to a decrease in sulfur deposition down to the present mean values around 16.5 kg/ha/year. It is expected that around the year 2010 the sulfur deposition should not have a substantial impact on the environment providing the similar trend would continue. However, a reverse trend can be observed in deposition of nitrogen. The growth of road traffic and more frequent use of earth gas for heating lead to a dramatic rise in nitrogen throughfall of which mean value increased from 15.4 kg/ha/year in 1990 up to 25.7 kg/ha/year in 2001. If such trend continues in future, then the mean values of nitrogen throughfall would attain 37.8 kg/ha/year in 2015, so that the nitrogen would take over the role of sulfur in acidification. Therefore, the problem of acidification in Central Europe is by no means resolved, only the structure of acidification input has been changed.
Keywordsacidification atmospheric deposition groundwater Czech Republic
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