Rapid time variations in chemical composition of precipitation in South Korea

Bo Kyoung Lee, Dong Soo Lee, Man Goo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Data from a monitoring program on precipitation at four sites in South Korea during the period from 1993 to 1998 were analyzed for determining a time trend relationship in chemical composition of precipitation. The concentrations of nss-sulphate, ammonium and calcium were found to have decreased over time at a statistically significant level in Seoul (p<0.05). The concentration of nss-sulphate had declined by a rate of 12% per year for the period from 1993 to 1998. The concentrations of ammonium and calcium decreased by 11% and 12% per year respectively for the same period. The concurrent reduction of cation offsets the change in strong acid anion, thus the annual mean pH of precipitation has been approximately constant. In contrast to the rapid change of sulphate, the second most abundant anion, nitrate, showed no statistically significant decrease. As a result, the nitrate to nss-sulphate ratio (N/S ratio) has increased rapidly; the N/S ratio in precipitation has increased from less than 0.1 in 1985 to nearly 0.5 in 1998 at Seoul. In spite of the short monitoring period, a significant upward trend in the N/S ratio was also observed at all of the other sites suggesting that the nitrogen species contribute more to precipitation acidity throughout Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-432
Number of pages6
JournalWater, Air, and Soil Pollution
Issue number1-4 II
Publication statusPublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecological Modelling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution


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