Articles | Volume 7, issue 3
30 Jun 2003
30 Jun 2003

The response of a small stream in the Lesni potok forested catchment, central Czech Republic, to a short-term in-stream acidification

T. Navrátil, M. Vach, S. A. Norton, P. Skrivan, J. Hruška, and L. Maggini

Abstract. Lesni Potok stream drains a forested headwater catchment in the central Czech Republic. It was artificially acidified with hydrochloric acid (HC1) for four hours to assess the role of stream substrate in acid-neutralisation and recovery. The pH was lowered from 4.7 to 3.2. Desorption of Ca and Mg and desorption or solution of Al dominated acid-neutralisation; Al mobilisation was more important later. The stream substrate released 4,542 meq Ca, 1,184 meq Mg, and 2,329 meq Al over a 45 m long and 1 m wide stream segment; smaller amounts of Be, Cd, Fe, and Mn were released. Adsorption of SO42- and desorption of F occurred during the acidification phase of the experiment. The exchange reactions were rapidly reversible for Ca, Mg and SO42-; but not symmetric as the substrate resorbed 1083, 790 and 0 meq Ca, Mg, and Al, respectively, in a 4-hour recovery period. Desorption of SO42-; occurred during the resorption of Ca and Mg. These exchange and dissolution reactions delay acidification, diminish the pH depression and retard recovery from episodic acidification. The behaviour of the stream substrate-water interaction resembles that for soil–soil water interactions. A mathematical dynamic mass-balance based model, MASS (Modelling Acidification of Stream pediments), was developed which simulates the adsorption and desorption of base cations during the experiment and was successfully calibrated to the experimental data.

Keywords: Al, Ca, Mg, base cations, acid-neutralisation, stream acidification, recovery, stream sediment, experiment, modelling, adsorption, desorption, adsorption, Czech Republic, Lesni Potok