Aqueous Chemistry

  • Christopher S. Cronan
Part of the Springer Textbooks in Earth Sciences, Geography and Environment book series (STEGE)


Many of the important inputs, outputs, and internal transfers of elements in watershed ecosystems occur through the medium of water. As water moves through the drainage gradient in a watershed, solution chemistry evolves and changes in response to the differential influences of biogeochemical processes. By tracking changes in aqueous chemistry, it is possible to infer how ions and solutes are influenced by biogeochemical processes that are otherwise invisible and difficult to detect. The intent of this chapter is to examine patterns of solution chemistry in watershed ecosystems and to discuss the major physical, biological, and chemical factors and processes controlling the chemistry and fluxes of elements in natural waters. We shall explore how and why aqueous chemistry varies in space and over time in a watershed. It will become evident that elements do not simply “flush down the drainage pipe” via mass flow and gravity in a watershed ecosystem. Our ultimate goal is to develop a conceptual framework for understanding the individual behavior of different types of ions and solutes in natural waters.


  1. Atkins PW (1978) Physical chemistry. W.H. Freeman Co., San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  2. Broecker WS (1974) Chemical oceanography. Harcourt, Brace. Javanovich, Inc., New York, 214 pGoogle Scholar
  3. CRC (1978) CRC handbook of chemistry and physics, 59 ed. In: Weast RC, Astle MJ (eds). CRC Press, W. Palm BeachGoogle Scholar
  4. Cronan CS (1980a) Solution chemistry of a New Hampshire subalpine ecosystem: a biogeochemical analysis. Oikos 34:272–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cronan CS (1980b) Controls on leaching from coniferous forest floor microcosms. Plant Soil 56:301–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cronan CS (1985a) Biogeochemical influence of vegetation and soils in the ILWAS watersheds. Water Air Soil Pollut 26:355–371Google Scholar
  7. Cronan CS (1985b) Chemical weathering and solution chemistry in acid forest soils: differential influence of soil type, biotic processes, and H+ deposition. In: Drever JI (ed) Chemistry of weathering. D. Reidel Publishing Co., Boston, pp 175–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cronan CS, Aiken GR (1985) Chemistry and transport of soluble humic substances in forested watersheds of the Adirondack Park, NY. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 49:1697–1705CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cronan CS, Grigal DF (1995) Use of calcium/aluminum ratios as indicators of stress in forest ecosystems. J Environ Qual 24:209–226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cronan CS, Driscoll CT, Newton RM, Kelly JM, Schofield CL, Bartlett RJ, April R (1990) A comparative analysis of aluminum biogeochemistry in a northeastern and southeastern forested watershed. Water Resour Res 26:1413–1430Google Scholar
  11. Cronan CS, Piampiano JT, Patterson HH (1999) Influence of land use and hydrology on exports of carbon and nitrogen in a Maine river basin. J Environ Qual 28:953–961CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Daniels F, Alberty RA (1975) Physical chemistry, 4th edn. Wiley, New York, 687 pGoogle Scholar
  13. Driscoll CT (1984) A procedure for the fractionation of aqueous aluminum in dilute acidic waters. Int J Environ Anal Chem 16:267–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hauhs M (1985) Wasser- und stoffhaushalt im einzugsgebiet der Langen Bramke (Harz). Berichte des Forschungszentrums Waldokosysteme/Waldsterben, Bd. 17Google Scholar
  15. Johnson DW, Cole DW (1980) Anion mobility in soils: relevance to nutrient transport from forest ecosystems. Environ Int 3:79–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Schofield CL, Galloway JN, Hendry GR (1985) Surface water chemistry in the ILWAS basins. Water Air Soil Pollut 26:403–423Google Scholar
  17. US EPA (1988) Chemical characteristics of streams in the mid-Atlantic and southeastern United States (national stream survey – phase I). Volume I: population descriptions and physico-chemical relationships. EPA/600/3-88/021a, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  18. Walker WJ, Cronan CS, Patterson HH (1988) A kinetic study of aluminum adsorption by aluminosilicate clay minerals. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 52:55–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Wollast R, Chou L (1985) Kinetic study of the dissolution of albite with a continuous flow-through fluidized bed reactor. In: Drever JI (ed) The chemistry of weathering. D. Reidel Publishing Co., Boston, pp 75–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher S. Cronan
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biology and EcologyUniversity of MaineOronoUSA

Personalised recommendations