Strontium isotopes in precipitation, soil and runoff water can be used to establish a ratio of wet plus dry deposited Sr to Sr released by weathering. This ratio is especially enhanced in areas with old acid Proterozoic rocks (0.6-2.5 Ga) and Archean rocks (>2.5 Ga). Since Sr and Ca behave in an analogous way in the coniferous forest ecosystem the results for Sr can be used for the determination of Ca. If the deposition of calcium can be calculated reasonably accurately the weathering rate can also be estimated. Five catchments have been investigated using this approach. Three of them seem to be close to a steady state, wherein the losses and gains of calcium to the system are equal. In the two southern-most catchments there seems to be an ongoing loss of exchangeable calcium. The loss by runoff occurs with sulphate being the dominant anion. Weathering rates of 1.5 to 4.8 kg Ca/ha year have been estimated.
- Received November 18, 1988.
- © IWA Publishing 1989