Statistical analyses of precipitation data from a nine-station monitoring network indicate little change in pH from 1965-78 within New York State as a whole but suggest that pH of bulk precipitation has decreased in the western part of the State by approximately 0.2 pH units since 1965 and increased in the eastern part by a similar amount. This trend is equivalent to an annual change in hydrogen-ion concentration of 0.2 microequivalents per liter.
An average annual increase in precipitation quantity of 2 to 3 percent since 1965 has resulted in an increased acid load in the western and central parts of the State.
During 1965-78, sulfate concentration in precipitation decreased an average of 1-4 percent annually. In general, no trend in nitrate was detected. Calculated trends in hydrogen-ion concentration do not correlate with measured trends of sulfate and nitrate, which suggests variable neutralization of hydrogen ion, possibly by particles from dry deposition. Neutralization has produced an increase of about 0.3 pH units in nonurban areas and 0.7 pH units in urban areas.
Statistical analyses of chemical data from several streams throughout New York suggest that sulfate concentrations decreased an average of 1 to 4 percent per year. This decrease is comparable to the sulfate decrease in precipitation during the same period. In most areas of the State, chemical contributions from urbanization and farming, as well as the neutralizing effect of carbonate soils, conceal whatever effects acid precipitation may have on pH of streams.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Temporal trends in the acidity of precipitation and surface waters of New York
Water Supply Paper
Reprinted with corrections
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Geological Survey ;
For sale by Distributions Branch, U.S. Geological Survey,