Chemical composition of acid rains in the Venezuelan savannah region

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SANHUEZA, E. ; ARIAS, M. C. ; DONOSO, L. ; GRATEROL, N. ; HERMOSO, M. ; MARTÍ, I. ; ROMERO, J. ; RONDÓN, A. ; SANTANA, M. (2011)
  • Publisher: Tellus B
  • Journal: Tellus B (issn: 1600-0889, eissn: 0280-6509)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/tellusb.v44i1.15423
  • Subject:
    mesheuropmc: parasitic diseases

The chemical composition of rain events has been determined at 6 sites in the Venezuelan savannah region. The results indicate that precipitations are little affected by anthropogenic emissions and that rain concentrations of anions and cations are similar to those observed at “remote” continental sites. At each location, the rain is acidic with average pHs ranging from 4.4 to 5.4. Over 50% of the free acidity may be due to formic and acetic acids. HNO3 and H2SO4 contribute only less than 36%. NH3 plays a significant role as neutralizing compound; Ca and Mg carbonates may also, in some cases, reduce the acidity of the rain solution. A complete evaluation of the ions that take part in the acid-base equilibrium is given. The participation of organic acid is discussed in detail. The first rains of the season, during biomass burning periods, are heavily loaded with several compounds, showing that emissions and/or atmospheric production are enhanced during vegetation fires. No significant variation in rain acidity was observed; it is likely that the larger atmospheric photochemical formation of organic and inorganic acids during burning is neutralized by a large primary emission of NH3. The study of these “particular” rains is useful in searching for pollutants emitted by fires and/or possible atmospheric processes that may occur in the associated haze layer.DOI: 10.1034/j.1600-0889.1992.00005.x
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