After a long period of snow melting and leaching, samples of snow and meltwater were collected. Chemical analysis revealed that the water composition changed radically during flow across the bedrock surface, even at low temperatures (0-2° C). A rapid increase in proton content occurred while the water was flowing along the bedrock/humus interface, followed by a rapid decrease and an equivalent increase in the content of Na+, Ca++, Mg++, and K+.
The proton content is attributed to proton producing reactions in the vegetation and in the humic layer, while the other cations are supposed to originate from the bedrock surface.
Data for water samples collected in August illustrate the influence of higher temperature upon biological processes and the rate of weathering. Water in fractures has high electrolyte content due to long contact time.
Scanning electron photomicrographs of the bedrock surface revealed that distinctive etch pits were developed on the feldspar surfaces due to. the weathering effects of the acid water.
- Received December 19, 1977.
- © IWA Publishing 1978