Chemical and physical characteristics of precipitation at selected sites in Florida

Water-Resources Investigations Report 80-81
By:  and 



Infrequent sampling of precipitation in Florida has been conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey since 1965. A summary of the historical data from 24 sites throughout Florida indicate that the principal ionic composition of atmospheric precipitation samples is calcium-sodium and bicarbonate-chloride with an average specific conductance of 32 micromhos per centimeter at 25 C. Historically, much of the sampling focused on primary nutrients and selected trace elements. Historical data indicate that nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations averaged 1.1 and 0.1 milligrams per liter, respectively. The limited trace metal data indicate that motor-vehicle activity may have a significant impact on local precipitation quality. Lead, for example, was measured in concentrations of as much as 2,400 micrograms per liter in samples collected in a highly populated, commerical area in south Florida. Statistical testing indicated that most major inorganic constituents, primary nutrients, and trace metals were significantly differnet among the sampling sites. The pH data indicated a range of about 5.0 to 7.0, but only limited pH data were collected and analyzed at the historical sites in such a timely manner as to represent pH conditions of the atmospheric precipitation during active rainfall. A critical review of the historical data suggested that while they may reflect local atmospheric quality conditions they likely do not define baseline conditions from a regional perspective. The application of these data were generally limited regarding regional extrapolation due to lack of standardization of sampling techniques, variable methods of sample preservation, nonuniform sampling intervals, variable sample sizes, and different periods of record. (USGS)

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Chemical and physical characteristics of precipitation at selected sites in Florida
Series title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number 80-81
DOI 10.3133/wri8081
Edition -
Year Published 1980
Language ENGLISH
Description 70 p.
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