A Spatial Model of Atmospheric Deposition for the Northeastern U.S.

Academic Article


  • Spatial patterns of atmospheric deposition across the northeastern United States were evaluated and summarized in a simple model as a function of elevation and geographic position within the region. For wet deposition, 3-11 yr of annual concentration data for the major ions in precipitation were obtained from the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trend Network (NADP/NTN) for 26 sites within the region. Concentration trends were evaluated by regression of annual mean concentrations against latitude and longitude. For nitrate, sulfate, and ammonium concentrations, a more than twofold linear decrease occurs from western New York and Pennsylvania to eastern Maine. These trends were combined with regional and elevational trends of precipitation amount, obtained from 30-yr records of annual precipitation at >300 weather stations, to provide long-term patterns of wet deposition. Regional trends of dry deposition of N and S compounds were determined using 2-3 yr of particle and gas concentration data collected by the National Dry Deposition Network (NDDN) and several other sources, in combination with estimates of deposition velocities. Contrary to wet deposition trends, the dominant air concentration trends were steep decreases from south to north, creating regional decreases in total deposition (wet + dry) from the southwest to the northeast. This contrast between wet and dry deposition trends suggests that within the northeast the two deposition forms are received in different proportions from different source areas, wet deposited materials primarily from areas to the west and dry deposited materials primarily from urban areas along the southern edge of the region. The equations generated describing spatial patterns of wet and dry deposition within the region were entered into a geographic information system (GIS) containing a digital elevation model (DEM) in order to develop spatially explicit predictions of atmospheric deposition for the region.
  • Authors

  • Ollinger, Scott
  • Aber, John D
  • Lovett, Gary M
  • Millham, Sarah E
  • Lathrop, Richard G
  • Ellis, Jennifer M
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • August 1993
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In


  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 27759240
  • Start Page

  • 459
  • End Page

  • 472
  • Volume

  • 3
  • Issue

  • 3