Chemistry of bog waters

Eville Gorham, Steven J. Eisenreich, Jesse Ford, Mary V. Santelmann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The transformation of fens receiving water from mineral soil to bogs receiving only atmospheric deposition is marked by a sharp decline in pH from above 6 to about 4 as calcium declines below 350 milliequivalents/L. The chemistry of bog waters is influenced chiefly by atmospheric deposition of sea spray in coastal areas (increasing sodium, chloride, and magnesium), and by dustfall from cultivated prairies in continental areas (increasing calcium, magnesium, and in lesser degree, potassium). In some locations air pollution appears to increase sulfate levels. Sulfate, nitrate, and ammonia are all much lower than in atmospheric precipitation, due presumably to plant uptake and microbial reduction. Sulfate reduction is particularly marked in oceanic sites. The low pH in bog waters is owed chiefly to yellow-brown organic acids, as indicated by highly significant interrelationships among anion deficit, hydrogen ion concentration, absorbance and ' dissolved ' organic carbon; pH also rises sharply upon photo-oxidation of water samples. Bog drainage is a significant input to the waters of many lakes and streams, and may predispose them to the further effects of acid deposition from the atmosphere.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Title of host publicationChemical Processes in Lakes
EditorsWerner Stumm
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons
Number of pages24
StatePublished - 1985

Publication series

NameChemical Processes in Lakes
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons


  • Chemistry of lake waters/sediments and wetland waters/peats in relation to controlling environmental factors

Cite this