Relationship between precipitation chemistry and meteorological situations at a rural site in NE Spain

Anna Avila, Marta Alarcón

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    121 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Bulk precipitation samples were collected at Montseny (Catalonia, NE Spain) from 1983 to 1994 and analysed for major cations and anions. The samples were classified for provenance based on meteorological synoptic maps and back trajectory analysis to identify the source areas of pollutants in precipitation. The meteorological classification was compared to an independent grouping based on multivariate data analysis (Clustering and Principal Component Analysis). Alkaline rain (mean pH = 7.2) was associated to African trajectories. Local events produced neutral rains (mean pH = 5.5). Acid rain was associated to rains of Atlantic origin (mean pH = 4.8) and to European rains (mean pH = 4.4), which also presented the highest mean concentrations of NH4/+ (57 μeql-1), NO3/-(49 μeql-1) and SO4/2- (103 μeql-1). However, European events were only a small fraction of the total precipitation (10% of the cases). Marine rains accounted for 52% of the events, and African and Local for 20 and 18%, respectively. During the 11 year period there was a decreasing trend for the frequency of European events.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1663-1677
    JournalAtmospheric Environment
    Volume33
    Issue number11
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 1999

    Keywords

    • Acid rain
    • Cluster analysis
    • Seasonality
    • South-western Europe
    • Trajectory analysis

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