Depth-integrated snowpack chemistry was measured just prior to maximum snowpack depth during the winters of 1992-1999 at 12 sites co-located with National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trend Network (NADP/NTN) sites in the central and southern Rocky Mountains, USA. Winter volume-weighted mean wet-deposition concentrations were calculated for the NADP/NTN sites, and the data were compared to snowpack concentrations using the paired t-test and the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. No statistically significant differences were indicated in concentrations of SO42- or NO3- (p>0.1). Small, but statistically significant differences (p???0.03) were indicated for all other solutes analyzed. Differences were largest for Ca2+ concentrations, which on average were 2.3??eql-1 (43%) higher in the snowpack than in winter NADP/NTN samples. Eolian carbonate dust appeared to influence snowpack chemistry through both wet and dry deposition, and the effect increased from north to south. Dry deposition of eolian carbonates was estimated to have neutralized an average of 6.9??eql-1 and a maximum of 12??eql-1 of snowpack acidity at the southernmost sites. The good agreement between snowpack and winter NADP/NTN SO42- and NO3- concentrations indicates that for those solutes the two data sets can be combined to increase data density in high-elevation areas, where few NADP/NTN sites exist. This combination of data sets will allow for better estimates of atmospheric deposition of SO42- and NO3- across the Rocky Mountain region.
Additional publication details
Comparison of snowpack and winter wet-deposition chemistry in the Rocky Mountains, USA: Implications for winter dry deposition