The current study uses case studies of model-predicted regional precipitation and wet ion deposition over 5-year periods to estimate errors in corresponding regional values derived from the means of site-specific values within regions of interest located in the eastern US. The mean of model-predicted site-specific values for sites within each region was found generally to overestimate the corresponding model-predicted regional wet ion deposition. On an annual basis across four regions in the eastern US, these overestimates of regional wet ion deposition were typically between 5 and 25% and may be more exaggerated for individual seasons. Corresponding overestimates of regional precipitation were typically <5%, but may be more exaggerated for individual seasons. Period-to-period relative changes determined from the mean of site-based model-predicted wet deposition for the current regional ensembles of sites generally estimated larger beneficial effects of pollutant emissions reductions in comparison to changes based on model-predicted regional wet deposition. On an annual basis site-based relative changes were generally biased low compared to regional relative changes: differences were typically <7%, but they may also be more exaggerated for individual seasons. Spatial heterogeneities of the wet ion deposition fields with respect to the sparse monitoring site locations prevented the monitoring sites considered in the current study from providing regionally representative results. Monitoring site locations considered in the current study over-represent the geographical areas subject to both high emissions and high wet ion deposition and under-represent the geographical areas subject to low emissions and low wet deposition. Since the current case studies consider only those eastern US site locations that have supported concurrent wet and dry deposition monitoring, similar errors may be expected for dry and total deposition using results from the same monitoring site locations. Current case study results illustrate the approximate range of potential errors and suggest caution when inferring regional acid deposition from a network of sparse monitoring sites.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Environmental Science
- Atmospheric Science