Environmental organisations in the UK have shown increasing interest in freshwater critical loads and acid sensitivity maps as a means of assessing pollution at the local and regional level. These maps can be used to identify sensitive areas when considering catchment management plans. The use of national data sets to map the sensitivity of freshwaters to acidification, highlighted the problems of relating national datasets to smaller, localised areas. The study described here investigated the use of detailed large-scale maps to predict the sensitivity of surface waters to acidification for two river catchments. Three large-scale acid sensitivity maps were produced and validated using measured freshwater critical loads. In addition, a score system relating to the buffering capacity for each soil and geology type was devised. The score value was found to have a better correlation with water chemistry and freshwater critical loads than the acid sensitivity maps. The study concluded that it was not necessary to use the largest scale data available in order to improve predictions of sensitive areas.
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- Mapping the Potential Sensitivity of Surface Waters to Acidification Using Measured Freshwater Critical Loads as an Indicator of Acid Sensitive Areas
J. M. Ullyett
J. R. Hall
- Springer Netherlands