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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/533

Title: Application of the critical loads approach in South Africa
Authors: Van Tienhoven, AM
Olbrich, KA
Skoroszewski, R
Taljaard, J
Zunckel, M
Keywords: Critical loads
Eastern Transvaal
South Africa
Issue Date: Dec-1995
Publisher: Kluiwer Academic Publishers
Citation: Van Tienhoven, AM, et al. 1995. Application of the critical loads approach in South Africa. Water, Air and Soil Pollution, vol. 85(4), pp 2577-2582
Abstract: South Africa is the most industrialised country in southern Africa and stands at some risk from negative pollution impacts. To the authors' knowledge, this paper presents the first attempt to apply the critical loads approach on the African continent; although sensitivity mapping has been performed for Africa and the rest of the world (Kuylerstierna et al, this conference). Actual sulphate and base cation deposition loads in Mpumalanga (formerly the Eastern Transvaal province of South Africa) were mapped from 16 monitoring sites. The region is characterised by long, dry periods with little rain, high evaporation (up to 8 mm per day) and low run-off (15% of MAP). Provisional critical load and exceedance maps were produced for the surface waters using the Steady-State Water Chemistry Model and the Diatom model. Maps of soil sensitivity to acid deposition, based on bedrock lithology, soil chemical characteristics and land cover, were produced. A weathering rate of 0.39–0.86 keq/ha/year was calculated for the most sensitive sites and taken as the critical load, based on the assumption that the weathering rate represents the buffering ability of the system. The critical loads were contrasted with measures of actual deposition to examine potential scenarios for critical loads exceedances. A key factor in refining the sensitivity maps, and allowing estimation of the critical loads, is the accurate calculation of weathering rates under the warmer and more arid environmental conditions prevalent in South Africa. In a developing country such as South Africa, where research resources are limited, the critical loads approach is a valuable means of assessing the risk of potential impacts of atmospheric deposition.
Description: Copyright: 1995 Kluwer Academic Publishers
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/533
ISSN: 0049-6979
Appears in Collections:Pollution and waste
General science, engineering & technology

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