Atmospheric inputs of organic matter to a forested watershed: Variations from storm to storm over the seasons

Lidiia Iavorivska, Elizabeth W. Boyer, Matthew P. Miller, Michael G. Brown, Terrie Vasilopoulos, Jose D. Fuentes, Christopher J. Duffy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The objectives of this study were to determine the quantity and chemical composition of precipitation inputs of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) to a forested watershed; and to characterize the associated temporal variability. We sampled most precipitation that occurred from May 2012 through August 2013 at the Susquehanna Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory (Pennsylvania, USA). Sub-event precipitation samples (159) were collected sequentially during 90 events; covering various types of synoptic meteorological conditions in all climatic seasons. Precipitation DOC concentrations and rates of wet atmospheric DOC deposition were highly variable from storm to storm, ranging from 0.3 to 5.6 mg C L−1 and from 0.5 to 32.8 mg C m−2 h−1, respectively. Seasonally, storms in spring and summer had higher concentrations of DOC and more optically active organic matter than in winter. Higher DOC concentrations resulted from weather types that favor air advection, where cold frontal systems, on average, delivered more than warm/stationary fronts and northeasters. A mixed modeling statistical approach revealed that factors related to storm properties, emission sources, and to the chemical composition of the atmosphere could explain more than 60% of the storm to storm variability in DOC concentrations. This study provided observations on changes in dissolved organic matter that can be useful in modeling of atmospheric oxidative chemistry, exploring relationships between organics and other elements of precipitation chemistry, and in considering temporal changes in ecosystem nutrient balances and microbial activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-295
Number of pages12
JournalAtmospheric Environment
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science
  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Atmospheric inputs of organic matter to a forested watershed: Variations from storm to storm over the seasons'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this