Hydrologic controls on sulfate mobility were investigated in a forested catchment in the Georgia Piedmont using a watershed mass balance approach. Variations in annual sulfate export were governed primarily by differences in runoff rather than by differences in sulfate deposition or in total annual precipitation. However, 2 years with similar total runoff had substantially different sulfate export. A residual analysis indicated that a shift in the concentration‐discharge relationship accounted for 72% of the difference in sulfate export and that a change in the pattern of discharge accounted for the remainder of the difference. Stream water sulfate concentrations reflected past hydrologic conditions. Concentrations at the same discharge were higher following an extended dry period than following average periods. The elevation in stream water sulfate concentrations following dry periods persisted for several months. The influence of rainfall patterns on sulfate export underscores the need for long‐term records to adequately characterize the acidification status of the watershed and to understand trends in water quality.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Hydrologic processes controlling sulfate mobility in a small forested watershed|
|Series title||Water Resources Research|
|Contributing office(s)||New England Water Science Center|
|Other Geospatial||Panola Mountain Research Watershed|