Davies, T.D., M. Tranter, Parker J. Wigington, Jr., K.N. Eshleman, N.E. Peters, J. Van Sickle, D.R. DeWalle, and P.S. Murdoch. 1999. Prediction of episodic acidification in North-eastern USA: an empirical/mechanistic approach. Hydrological Processes 13:1181-1195.
Observations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencys Episodic Response Project (ERP) in the North-eastern United States are used to develop an empirical/mechanistic scheme for prediction of the minimum values of acid neutralizing capacity (ANC) during episodes. An acidification episode is defined as a hydrological event during which ANC decreases. The pre-episode ANC is used to index the antecedent condition, and the stream flow increase reflects how much the relative contributions of sources of waters change during the episode. As much as 92% of the total variation in the minimum ANC in individual catchments can be explained (with levels of explanation > 70% for nine of the 13 streams) by a multiple linear regression model that includes pre-episode ANC an change in discharge as independent variables. The predictive scheme is demonstrated to be regionally robust, with the regional variance explained ranging from 77 to 83%. The scheme is not successful for each ERP stream, and reasons are suggested for the individual failures. The potential for applying the predictive scheme to other watersheds is demonstrated by testing the model with data from the Panola Mountain Research Watershed in the South-eastern United States, where the variance explained by the model was 74%. The model can also be utilized to assess "chemically new" and "chemically old" water sources during acidification episodes.