The PIRLA Project (Paleoecological Investigation of Recent Lake Acidification): Preliminary Results for the Adirondacks, New England, N. Great Lakes States, and N. Florida
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon, Diatom Assemblage, Electric Power Research Institute, Florida Lake, Adirondack Lake
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
The PIRLA project is an interdisciplinary paleoecological study designed to provide reconstructions of the recent acidification histories of a representative set of lakes in four acid-sensitive regions in North America. We are trying to determine if lakes in the study regions have acidified, and if so, to what extent, over what time period and why. Sediment cores from 5 to 15 lakes in each region are being analyzed for several characteristics. Diatoms and chrysophytes are being used to reconstruct lakewater pH. Results for three Adirondack lakes with current pH of 4.8 to 5.0 indicate a decrease in pH beginning in the 1930's-1950's. Increased atmospheric deposition of strong acids appears to be the primary factor responsible for the pH decline. Two lakes (pH 4.4 and 4.7) in New England show clear evidence of acidification probably due to acidic deposition. Preliminary reconstructions for two lakes in Michigan (pH 4.4 and 5.6), one in Wisconsin (pH 5.3), and one in Minnesota (pH 6.8) suggest no recent pH decrease. For, the one Florida lake (pH 4.4) analyzed, inferred pH decreases by about 0.5 unit, beginning in the 1950s; the cause has not been determined.
Citation / Publisher Attribution
Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, v. 30, issue, 1-2, p. 355-365
Scholar Commons Citation
Crisman, Thomas L., "The PIRLA Project (Paleoecological Investigation of Recent Lake Acidification): Preliminary Results for the Adirondacks, New England, N. Great Lakes States, and N. Florida" (1986). School of Geosciences Faculty and Staff Publications. 1733.