This investigation assesses geographic variations in atmospheric deposition in Washington, Oregon, and California using snow cores from the Cascade-Sierra Nevada Mountains, collected from late February to mid-March 1983. A statistical analysis of the analytical and sampling precision was made. The snowpack in the higher Cascades and Sierra Nevada is not strongly influenced by anthropogenic activities at present. The pH of snow samples ranges from 5.11 to 5.88. Sulfate and nitrate correlate with H+ in some segments of the sample traverse. The SO4 data show apparent influence from major source areas in Washington and California; nitrate does not. An apparent decrease in NH4 in snow in Washington and California suggests atmospheric interactions resulting in the removal of NH4. The NH4 reduction raises questions about nutrient supply to the mountain vegetation. Heavy-metal correlations included Cd, Cu, and Fe with Pb, and Mn with K and DOC, among others. No correlation was found between constituents and snow-water content.
Additional publication details
Snow chemistry of the Cascade-Sierra Nevada Mountains