Cloud and fog water constitutes an important hydrological input to specific ecosystems1–3. Recently, questions have been raised about the chemical composition of clouds and fog with reference to their potential role in adding chemicals such as nutrients, mineral acids and trace metals to such ecosystems. There are few data on the chemistry of cloud and fog water; those that exist suggest generally low pH values and high concentrations of major inorganic cations, anions and trace metals4–7, especially when compared with rain water collected from the same or nearby locations8,9. Here we present the first analysis of a widespread, episodic cloud/fog event, using samples collected during August 1984 at six non-urban sites in the eastern United States. The pH was extremely low (2.8–3.09) and concentrations of sulphate and nitrate were 7–43 times greater than those for average precipitation at four eastern sites, and higher than previously reported values for cloud/fog water in the eastern United States. This suggests that such water may add ecologically significant amounts of pollutants and nutrients to many ecosystems in the region.
Access optionsAccess options
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $3.90 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Rent or Buy article
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Azvedo, J. & Morgan, D. L. Ecology 55, 1135–1141 (1974).
Harr, R. D. Wat. Res. Bull. 18, 785–788 (1982).
Kerfoot, O. For. Abstr. 29, 8–20 (1968).
Lovett, G. M., Reiners, W. A. & Olson, R. K. Science 218, 1303–1304 (1982).
Jacob, D. J., Waldman, J. M., Munger, J. W. & Hoffman, M. R. Tellus 36 B, 272–285 (1984).
Castillo, R. A., Kadlecek, J. A. & McLaren, S. Wat. Air Soil Pollut. 24, 323–328 (1985).
Scherbatskoy, T. & Bliss, M. Proc. APCA Specialty Meeting: The Meteorology of Acidic Deposition (Air Pollution Control Association, Pittsburgh, 1984).
Dollard, G. J., Unsworth, M. H. & Harve, M. J. Nature 302, 241–243 (1983)
Waldman, J. M. et al. Science 218, 677–679 (1982).
Keene, W. C., Galloway, J. N. & Holden, D. J. Jr, J. geophys. Res. 88, 5122–5130 (1983).
Keene, W. C. & Galloway, J. N. Atmos. Envir. 18, 2491–2497 (1984).
Keene, W. C., Pszenny, A. A. P., Galloway, J. N. & Hawley, M. E. J. geophys. Res. (in the press).
Dana, M. T. & Easter, R. C. Atmos. Envir. (submitted).
Likens, G. E. (ed.) An Ecosystem Approach to Aquatic Ecology, 19 (Springer, New York, 1985).
Bormann, F. H. Bioscience 35, 434–441 (1985).
Granett, A. L. & Musselman, R. C. Atmos. Envir. 18, 887–890 (1984).
Scherbatskoy, T. & Klein, R. J. envir. Qual. 12, 189–195 (1983).
Wood, T. & Bormann, F. H. Ambio 4, 169–171 (1974).
About this article
The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters (2019)
The biology of fog: results from coastal Maine and Namib Desert reveal common drivers of fog microbial composition
Science of The Total Environment (2019)
The contribution of fog to water and nutrient supply to Arthraerua leubnitziae in the central Namib Desert, Namibia
Journal of Arid Environments (2019)
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A (2016)