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Studies of soils, soil water and stream water at a small catchment near Guiyang, China

, : Studies of soils, soil water and stream water at a small catchment near Guiyang, China. Water Air & Soil Pollution 101(1-4): 137-162, Jan

Acid deposition is considered to be a major environmental problem in China, but information about effects on soils and waters is scarce. To contribute to increased knowledge about the problem a small catchment (about 7 ha) in the outskirts of Guiyang, the provincial capital of Guizhou in south-western China, was instrumented for collection of precipitation, throughfall, soil water and stream water. In addition soil samples have been collected and analyzed for key properties. Median pH in the precipitation is 4.40 (quartiles: 4.19 and 4.77) and the median sulfate concentration 228 mueq/L (quartiles: 147 and 334 mueq/L). The dry deposition of both SO2 and alkaline dust is considerable, The sum of wet deposition of sulfate and dry deposition of SO2 has been estimated to about 8.5 gSm-2 yr-1. The total S-deposition may be somewhat higher due to dry deposition of sulfate and occult deposition. In soil water, SO42- is the major anion, generally ranging from 300 to 2500mueq/L in the different plots. Calcium is an important cation, but there is also a considerable contribution of aluminum from the soil. In some of the plots the concentrations of inorganic monomeric aluminum (Ali) are typically between 200 and 400 Am. Potential harmful levels of aluminum and/or high Ali/(Ca2+ + Mg2+) molar ratios occur in the catchment, but damages to vegetation have not yet been reported. In most cases exchangeable aluminum accounts for between 75 and 95% of the total effective cation exchange capacity (CECE) in the mineral soils. The aluminum chemistry cannot easily be explained by conventional models as the Gaines-Thomas ion-exchange equation or equilibrium with an Al(OH)3 mineral phase. The stream water is generally less acidic and has considerably lower concentrations of aluminum than the soil water, even though quite acid events have been observed (pH < 4.4). The median pH values are 4.9 and 5.0 in the two first order streams and 6.3 in the dam at the lower boarder of the catchment.


DOI: 10.1023/a:1004985209931

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