Contrasts in storm event hydrochemistry in an acidic afforested catchment in upland Wales

C. Soulsby*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


The hydrochemistry of stream water in an acidic afforested catchment in the Welsh uplands was monitored routinely between 1985 and 1990. Nineteen storm episodes were sampled intensively during this period. Although the general storm response of the stream can be characterised by increased concentrations of H+, Al and dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and a dilution of Ca and SiO2, the detailed hydrochemistry of individual acid episodes exhibited marked contrasts. The minimum pH reached during specific episodes ranged from 4.1 to 5.0, and peak dissolved Al concentrations varied from 9 to 44 μmol l-1. The reasons for such differences in the hydrochemical response can be identified for each individual episode by examining the complex interactions between (1) the quantity and quality of event precipitation, (2) antecedent patterns of weather and atmospheric deposition and (3) the hydrological processes which dominate the storm runoff response. The dynamic nature of catchment hydrology was found to exert a particularly strong influence on the hydrochemistry of specific acid episodes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-179
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 1995


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