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Acid Rain Lesson Plan

Efforts to Understand the Effects of Acid Rain

  • The United States government is concerned about the possible problems with acid rain. There are many indications that acid rain is beginning to take its toll of the streams, lakes, forests, and wildlife of the United States.
  • Many Federal and State agencies began a national acid rain monitoring network called the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) in 1978. The NADP headquarters is located at the Illinois State Water Survey in Champaign. Its purpose is to gather data on atmospheric deposition in this country.
  • There are 200 NADP collecting stations across the country. These sites are set up to collect precipitation (snow, rain,ice, etc.). Figure 2 shows the equipment used by the NADP to collect these samples.
  • In order to have data which can be compared in different parts of the country, NADP collects the samples from every site on the same day each week. These samples are then shipped to the headquarters in Illinois for analysis.
  • Figure 3 is an isopleth map of the United States (an isopleth is a group of similar numbers connected by a line. In this case, the isopleths define rainfall and pH figures). The black dots mark active collecting stations.
  • At GRSM, the Uplands Field Research Laboratory is collecting these samples. Before they are sent to Illinois, the Laboratory is testing a portion of the sample for pH and conductivity.

updated on 04/24/2006  I   http://www.nature.nps.gov/air/edu/Lessons/EffectsOfAR.cfm   I  Email: Webmaster