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Error analysis applied to indirect methods for precipitation acidity

Liljestrand, Howard M. and Morgan, James J. (1979) Error analysis applied to indirect methods for precipitation acidity. Tellus A, 31 (5). pp. 421-431. ISSN 0280-6495. doi:10.1111/j.2153-3490.1979.tb00921.x.

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The historical increase in the acidity of precipitation in northern Europe has been monitored by direct measurements of pH and titrations of acidity. Indirect methods such as conductivity and charge balances as well as chemical source models have been used to confirm the measured acidities. In the absence of historical records of direct measurements of acidity in precipitation in the United States, indirect methods have been applied to available data on the composition of rainwater to quantify the acidity. Unfortunately, the indirect methods are sensitive to small errors in certain pH regions. The effects of random errors in major ion concentrations as well as the systematic errors due to the exclusion of trace metal and organic ions are shown to be largest around pH 5.6 in the charge balance and chemical source strength calculations and largest around pH 6.1 for the conductivity balance method. Estimates of the uncertainty in historical mean values of precipitation ion concentrations are used to calculate upper and lower bounds on the acidity of rainwater in the United States before 1970. The trend of increasing acidity of precipitation in the northeastern United States is still evident after applying error analysis.

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Additional Information:© 1979 Munksgaard, Copenhagen. Manuscript received February 6; in final form May 10, 1979. Study partially supported by a Du Pont Environmental Grant, Ford/Exxon Research Program, and an institutional grant from the Department of Energy.
Group:Environmental Quality Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Du Pont Environmental grantUNSPECIFIED
Ford/Exxon Research ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)UNSPECIFIED
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Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Environmental Quality LaboratoryA-46
Issue or Number:5
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140626-091636419
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Official Citation:LILJESTRAND, H. M. and MORGAN, J. J. (1979), Error analysis applied to indirect methods for precipitation acidity. Tellus, 31: 421–431. doi: 10.1111/j.2153-3490.1979.tb00921.x
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:46524
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:26 Jun 2014 17:30
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 17:26

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