The chemical composition of precipitation, bulk deposition, and runoff from a 30-m2 granitic bedrock catchment in the Loch Vale Watershed in Rocky Mountain National Park was monitored over a 6-week period in the summer of 1994 to determine the importance of dry deposition in the alpine zone. Concentrations of acid anions and base cations were 1.1 to 4 times higher in bulk deposition than in precipitation. Concentrations of the same solutes were 3 to 10 times higher in runoff from the bedrock catchment than in bulk deposition, and during individual runoff events, the concentrations of most ions were highest in the initial runoff. Evaporation from the rock surface accounted for only a 15% increase in solute concentrations indicating that most of the dissolved load in bedrock runoff is derived from the dissolution of dry deposition that accumulates on the bedrock between storm events. These results indicate that dry deposition may be an important source of solutes to this alpine ecosystem.
Additional publication details
Composition of precipitation, bulk deposition, and runoff at a granitic bedrock catchment in the Loch Vale watershed, Colorado, USA
Biogeochemistry of seasonally snow-covered catchments. Proc. symposium, Boulder, 1995