Integrated snowpack samples and lakewater samples were collected from a low‐alkalinity watershed in the North Cascades in 1984 and 1985 and analyzed for inorganic chemical parameters. Mean concentrations of NO3− and SO4−2 from North Cascades snowpack were near 4.5 and 5.5 μeq L−1, respectively. Mean pH was 5.2–5.3. During melting, anion levels in the snowpack decreased and pH increased. By July, mean NO3− and SO4−2 concentrations were 0.32 and 1.73 μeq L−1, respectively, and mean pH was 5.48. Acid neutralizing capacity at the lake outlet during snowmelt was diluted to 50% of April premelt values. During snowmelt runoff there was no apparent neutralization of bicarbonate by strong acids. By comparing lakewater NO3− concentrations to snowpack concentrations, over 75% of the NO3− in the lake could be attributed to a snowpack source. An estimated 30% of the SO4−2 in the lake was derived from the snowpack.
Water Resources Research – Wiley
Published: May 1, 1988
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