The Acidic Precipitation Phenomenon. A Study of this Phenomenon and of a Relationship between the Acid Content of Precipitation and the Emission of Sulfur Dioxide and Nitrogen Oxides in the Netherlands

  • Arend J. Vermeulen
Part of the Environmental Science Research book series (ESRH)


The Netherlands is a nation which is highly industrialized and densely populated. Along with other European countries noting the increase in acidity of the precipitation, The Netherlands became part of the extensive European network of atmospheric measuring stations which are coordinated by the International Meteorological Institute (IMI) in Stockholm. Three stations are part of this network, and in addition the province of North Holland has installed 22 sampling stations. The extensive information available over a period of years has made possible the correlation between the acidification of precipitation and the acidic gas content of the atmosphere. A pronounced relationship between the total interior emission of SO2 and the acidification was found, but no such relationship could be shown for the nitrogen oxides. Factors which have an influence such as the wind direction and the dust content have been investigated.

The total acidity in the years around 1966 was the highest in the world for this country. Increased energy requirements combined with a change from pit coal to oil resulted in the increased sulfur dioxide emissions. The reduction after 1967 was then credited to a large conversion to gas when the largest coherent natural gas field in the world was found in the province of Groningen. Because of a prior commitment for the exportation of much of this gas, the domestic use will be reduced until the year 2000. In the meantime a reconversion to oil and coal will be necessary to satisfy the energy requirements, and the SO2 emissions accompanied by increased acid deposition are expected to rise.


Sampling Location Sulfur Dioxide Nitrogen Oxide Yearly Basis Rain Water 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Additional Reading

  1. Barrot, E. and G. Bodin, Tellus V II (1955).Google Scholar
  2. “Acid Precipitation” Proceedings of a Conference on Emerging Environmental Problems, held on May 19–20, 1975. The Institute on Man and Science, Rensselaerville, New York. Report No. EPA-902/9-75-001 (1975).Google Scholar
  3. Likens, E. and F.H. Bormann, “Acid Rain, a Serious Regional Environmental Problem1”, Science, vol. 184, June 14 (1974).Google Scholar
  4. Reynolds, R.C. and N.M. Johnson. Johnson “Chemical Weathering in the Temperate Glacial Environment in the Northern Cascade Mountains”, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta (1972).Google Scholar
  5. Collison, R.C. and J.E. Mensching. N.Y. Exp. Stn. Geneva, Tech. Bull. No. 193 (1932).Google Scholar
  6. Granat, L.A., Report AC-18 (1972) Institute of Meteorology, University of Stockholm (M.I.S.U.).Google Scholar
  7. Leeflang, K.W.H. “De chemische samenstelling van de neerslag in Nederland”. Chemisch Weekblad 35 (1938).Google Scholar
  8. Junge, C.E., “Air Chemistry and Radioactivity” Academic Press, New York and London.Google Scholar
  9. Galloway, J.N., G.E. Likens and E.S. Edgerton “Acid Precipitation in the Northeastern United States: pH and Acidity”. Science vol. 194, Nov. 12 (1976).Google Scholar
  10. Persson, G., “The Acidity and the Concentration of Sulfate in Precipitation over Europe”. Statens Naturvardsverk, the Swedish National Nature Conservancy Office, Air Quality Dept. Fack, 17120, Solna 1, Sweden.Google Scholar
  11. Moss, M.R. “Spatial Patterns of Precipitation Reactions” Environment Pollution, 8 (1975).Google Scholar
  12. Zeedijk, H. and C. Velds, “The Transport of Sulfur Dioxide over a Long Distance”. Atmospheric Environment vol. 7, pp. 849–862 (1973).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Scriven, R.A. and B.E.A. Fisher “The Long Range Transport of Airborne Material and its Removal by Deposition and Wash-out: II.-The Effect of Turbulent Diffusion”. Atmospheric Environment vol. 9, pp. 59–68 (1975).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Førland, E.J., “A Study of the Acidity in the Precipitation in Southwestern-Norway” Tellus XXV No. 3 (1973).Google Scholar
  15. Emmelin, L., “Air Pollution Across National Boundaries”, Environmental Planning in Sweden No. 23, Oct (1971). Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sweden.Google Scholar
  16. Schofield, C.L. Jr. “Water Quality in Relation to Survival of Brook Trout 1 salvelinum fontinalis1 (Mitchill)” Trans. Amer. Fisheries Soc. 94, No. 3, pp. 227–235 (1965).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Schofield, C.L. Jr. “Lake Acidification in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, Causes and Consequences”. First Intl. Symp. on Acid Precipitation and Forest Ecosystems.Google Scholar
  18. Dochinger, L.S. and T.A. Seliga. Seliga “Acid Precipitation and the Forest Ecosystems” Report from the First Intl. Symp. Journal of the Air Pollution Control Association, vol. 25, No. 11, Nov. (1975).Google Scholar
  19. Oden, S. and R. Andersson “The Long Term Changes in the Chemistry of Soils in Scandinavia due to Acid Precipitation”. Paper, Dept. of Soil and Science, Agricultural College, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden.Google Scholar
  20. Oden, S. and R. Andersson “The Long Term Changes in the pH of Lakes and Rivers in Sweden” Paper, address: Dept. of Soil and Science, Agricultural College, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden.Google Scholar
  21. Impact of Acid Precipitation on Forest and Freshwater Ecosystems in Norway. Summary report on the research from the phase I (1972–1975) of the SNSF-project. Fagrapport FR 6 (1976).Google Scholar
  22. Proceeding of the First International Symposium on Acid Precipitation and the Forest Ecosystems, U.S. Forest Service, General Technical Report N.E. (1074 pp).Google Scholar
  23. Dam, H. van, and H. Kooyman-van Blokland “Man-made Changes in some Dutch Moorland Pools, as Reflected by Historical and Recent Data about Diatoms and Macrophytes”. Int. Revue Ges. Hydrobiologie, in press (1978).Google Scholar
  24. Energienota, Problemen en perspectieven. Provinciaal Electriciteitsbedrijf van Noord-Holland, September 1977. Verkrijgbaar: Provinciale Griffie Noord-Holland.Google Scholar
  25. Zeedijk, H. “Het brandstofinzetplan centrales en de luchtverontreiniging”. Chemisch Weekblad No. 24, June 1978.Google Scholar
  26. Granat, L. and Henning Rodhe “A Study of Fallout by Precipitation around an Oil-Fired Power Plant”. Atmospheric Environment, Pergamon Press, 1973, Vol. 7, pp. 781–792.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ta-Yung Li, H.E. Landsberg. Landsberg “Rainwater pH close to a Major Power Plant”, Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 9, pp. 81–88, Pergamon Press, 1975.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hutcheson, M.R. and Hall, F.P. “Sulfate Washout from a Coal Fired Power Plant Plume”. Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 8, pp. 23–28, Pergamon Press, 1974.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Högström, U, U., “Wet Fallout of Sulfurous Pollutants Emitted from a City During Rain or Snow”. Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 8, pp. 1291–1303, Pergamon Press, 1974.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Larson, T.V., et al, T.V., et al. “The Influence of a Sulfur Dioxide Point Source on the Rain Chemistry of a Single Storm in the Puget Sound Region”, Water, Air and Soil Pollution, 4, 1975, pp. 319–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Georgii, H.W., “Investigation on the Incorporation of Sulfur Dioxide into Fog and Rain Droplets”. Paper No. 4, Dept. of Meteorology and Geophysics, University of Frankfurt, Germany.Google Scholar
  32. Heuvel, A.P. van den and B.J. Mason “The Formation of Ammonium Sulfate in Water Droplets Exposed to Gaseous Sulfur Dioxide and Ammonia”, Quart. J. Meteor. Soc. 89, 1963.Google Scholar
  33. Enger, L. and U. Högström “Dispersion and Wet Deposition of Sulfur from a Power Plant Plume”, Atmospheric Environment Vol. 13, 1979, pp. 797–810.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Coesel, P.F.M., R. Kwakkestein and A. Verschoor, “Oligotrophication and Eutrophication Tendencies in some Dutch Moorland Pools, as Reflected in their Desmid Flora” Hydrobiologia, Vol. 61, pp. 21–31, 1978.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arend J. Vermeulen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental ControlThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations