Nitrate leakage to a stream from a small forested watershed on Kureha Hill in Toyama Prefecture, Japan was investigated in order to assess its acid-base chemistry. Kureha Hill, located in Toyama City, receives high nitrogen loading from the atmosphere. In this area, there are several small streams characterized by a high concentration of nitrate and low ANC. Hyakumakidani, one of the most acidic streams on that hill, the average pH and ANC were 5.2 and-8 μeq/l, respectively. The weighted average nitrate concentration, which was 125 μeq/l, increased up to 370 μeq/l during high-discharge periods caused by heavy rainfall, while ANC decreased to-24 μeq/l at the same time. Our preliminary study using a two-stage tank model simulating the flow paths in the soil indicated that during high-discharge periods, the increased subsurface flow containing a high concentration of nitrate contributed to the increased nitrate concentration. In this watershed, the annual nitrogen budget from Aug. 1998 to Aug. 1999 showed that the loss of nitrogen exceeded the bulk nitrogen deposition, indicating that this watershed is under condition of nitrogen saturation. However, no visible attenuation has been observed.
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- Acidification of a Small Stream on Kureha Hill Caused by Nitrate Leached from a Forested Watershed
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