Wigington, P.J., Jr., M. R. Church, T.C. Strickland, K.N. Esheleman and J. Van Sickle. 1998. Autumn chemistry of Oregon Coast Range streams. Journal of American Water Resources Association 34:1035-1049.
During an autumn runoff event we sampled 48 streams with predominantly forested watersheds and igneous bedrock in the Oregon Coast Range. The streams had acid neutralizing capacities (ANC>90µeq/L and pH > 6.4). Streamwater Na+, Ca2+, and Mg2+ concentrations were greater than K+ concentrations. Anion concentrations generally followed the order of Cl- > NO3- > SO42. Chloride and Na+ concentrations were highest in samples collected in streams near the Pacific Ocean and decreased markedly as distance from the coast increased. Sea salt exerted no discernible influence on stream water acid-base status during the sampling period. Nitrate concentrations in the study streams were remarkably variable, ranging from below detection to 172 µeq/L. We hypothesize that forest vegetation is the primary control of spatial variability of the NO3- concentrations in Oregon Coast Range streams. We believe that symbiotic N fixation by red alder in pure or mixed stands is the primary source of N to forested watersheds in the Oregon Coast Range.