Atmospheric Deposition


By Michael J. Lynch, University of South Florida, FL


Atmospheric deposition is the process through which pollution is distributed by rainfall, snowfall and fog, or by particle settling. More generally, it is the process by which atmospheric pollution is transferred from the atmosphere to the surface of earth. One of the most important types of atmospheric deposition is acidic, which can have detrimental effects for waterways. Increasing interest has been paid to atmospheric deposition of nutrients and how those depositions affect ecosystems (e.g., Christodoulaki et al., 2013). Also of concern is the atmospheric deposition of toxic pollutants, and there is now a significant scientific literature on this subject.

Atmospheric deposition is an example of problems associated with nonpoint source pollution (see, NPS).

In the US, the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP maintains information and data on atmospheric deposition. The NADP maintain specific links to data related to: Mercury deposition, and Ammonia. Data for other forms of atmospheric deposition may be accessed HERE and HERE.

Data for Canada may be found HERE.

Global data for select years is located HERE.

Further Reading


Christodoulaki, S., G. Petihakis, M. Kanakidou, N. Mihalopoulos, K. Tsiaras, and G. Triantafyllou. (2013). “Atmospheric deposition in the Eastern Mediterranean. A driving force for ecosystem dynamics.” Journal of Marine Systems 109: 78-93.

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