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Hydrologic analysis of two headwater lake basins in the Adirondack Mountains, New York, during 1980-81 indicates that the degree of neutralization of acid precipitation is controlled by the groundwater contribution to the lake. According to flow-duration analyses, daily mean outflow/unit area from the neutral lake (Panther Lake, pH 5-7) was more sustained and contained a higher percentage of groundwater than that of the acidic lake (Woods Lake, pH 4-5). Outflow recession rates and maximum base-flow rates, derived from individual recession curves, were 3.9 times and 1.5 times greater, respectively, in the neutral-lake basin than in the acidic-lake basin. Groundwater contribution to lake outflow was also calculated from a lake-water budget; the groundwater contribution to the neutral lake was about 10 times greater than that to the acidic lake. Thick sandy till forms the groundwater reservoir and the major recharge area in both basins but covers 8.5 times more area in the neutral-lake basin than in the acidic-lake basin. More groundwater storage within the neutral basin provides longer contact time with neutralizing minerals and more groundwater discharge. As a result, the neutral lake has relatively high pH and alkalinity, and more net cation transport. (USGS)


USGS Water-Resources Investigations Report: 84-4313