Trends of pollution in rain over East Germany caused by changing emissions

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Marquardt, Wolfgang ; Brüggemann, Erika ; Auel, Renate ; Herrmann, Hartmut ; Möller, Detlev (2001)

Large changes in emissions also cause a significant change in pollutant concentrations in rain water. The influence of these changes on pollutant concentrations in rain water and wet deposition were investigated in different regions and time periods from 1983 to 1999 in East Germany. Initially, this period is characterized by large emissions of SO2(about 5400 kt a−1), NOx(about 750 kt a−1), and dust (about 2000 kt a−1) at the end of the 1980s. After the reunification of Germany in 1990 and restructuring of industry and agriculture, emissions drastically decreased. For example, from 1990 to 1998 in Saxony emissions of SO2, NOx and dust decreased by 84, 44 and 97%, respectively. Alkaline components also strongly decreased through efficient dust removal, while no desulphurization was used in flue gases of power and heating plants. As a consequence, the mean acidity of precipitation strongly rose by a factor of three from before 1990 up to 1995 (the mean pH value in 1995 was about 3.9, with minimum values down to 3.6). In 1996 desulphurization techniques were established in power plants and resulted in an increase of pH values to the level in the period from 1983 to 1989/1990. The results for ionic composition (Cl−, NO3−, SO42−, Na+, NH4+, K+, Ca2+, and Mg2+, the pH value (acidity), and conductivity) are based on precipitation samples collected in periods ≤ 4 h. The data were classified with backward trajectories and entry sectors which are characterized by similar emissions and/or geographical regions.DOI: 10.1034/j.1600-0889.2001.530502.x
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