The Episodic Response Project (ERP) was an interdisciplinary study designed to address uncertainties about the occurrence, nature, and biological effects of episodic acidification of streams in the northeastern United States. The ERP research consisted of intensive studies of the chemistry and biological effects of episodes in 13 streams draining forested watersheds in the three study regions: the Northern Appalachian region of Pennsylvania and the Catskill and Adirondack Mountains of New York. Wet deposition was measured in each of the three study regions. Using automated instruments and samplers, discharge and chemistry of each stream was monitored intensively from fall 1988 through spring 1990. Biological studies focused on brook trout and native forage fish. Experimental approaches included in situ bioassays, radio transmitter studies of fish movement, and fish population studies. This paper provides an overview of the ERP, describes the methodology used in hydrologic and water chemistry components of the study, and summarizes the characteristics of the study sites, including the climatic and deposition conditions during the ERP and the general chemical characteristics of the study streams.
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Episodic acidification of small streams in the northeastern united states: episodic response project