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An Investigation into the Effects of Atmospheric Deposition on Surface Water Quality in the Eastern Regions of South Africa
Expanded Title:The investigation aimed to determine whether emissions from fossil fuel burning on the Mpumalanga Highveld are likely to increase salinization of surface water and degrade soil resources. The methodological approach was to first identify and select three catchments which fall within the area of heavy deposition of acids of atmospheric origin: viz., the headwaters of the Sabie catchment, the headwaters of the Olifants catchment, and the headwaters of the Klip catchment. Each of these catchments has different pedology, and different climatic conditions. Deposition of acidic substances originating from gaseous emissions from fossil fuel burning, were estimated through modelling, while emissions from other sources were deemed to be generally insignificant. The model results were checked against isolated ground measurements spanning a time period of 30 years. Streamflow was analysed and a full suite of the soil chemistry tests was carried out on the soils of the uppermost of the nested sub-catchments of Klip and Olifants. A set of leach column tests was carried out on the soils of the uppermost sub-catchment of Sabie and Sandspruit. The findings were that both acid emissions and acid deposition were found to be increasing exponentially. Loads of sulphate and base cations exported from each from each of the 3 catchments were found to be increasing exponentially. Streamflow in the Klip Catchment has also been found to have increased over the past forty years. Soils on the other hand, were found to have high buffering capacity due to the high organic content.
Date Published:01/09/2013
Document Type:Research Report
Document Subjects:Water Resource Management/IWRM - Water Governance
Document Keywords:Water Quality
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:Pdf
Research Report Type:Standard
WRC Report No:1697/1/13
ISBN No:978-1-4312-0464-9
Authors:Lorentz S; Blight J; Snyman N
Project No:K5/1697
Organizations:University of KwaZuIu-Natal; University of the Witwatersrand; Umfula Wempilo Consulting; Airshed Planning Professionals
Document Size:0 bytes
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