Date of Award

December 2014

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Charles T. Driscoll


Liming, Mercury, Woods Lake

Subject Categories




In acid-impacted forests, lime has been applied to neutralize acidity and mitigate acidification of soil and surface waters. However, few studies have evaluated the effects of liming on watershed mercury processes and transport. I investigated the effects of liming on mercury, organic carbon, and sulfur concentrations and stocks in forest soil 19 years after the application of lime to the Woods Lake Watershed, Adirondack Park, New York, USA (42o52' N, 71o58' W). The mercury, organic carbon, and sulfur stocks were significantly greater in the forest floor of limed areas (24.5 vs. 11.1 Hg g/ha for Oe and 31.6 vs. 14.6 Hg g/ha for Oa; 36.8 vs. 18.6 OC t/ha for Oe and 33.1 vs. 12.7 OC t/ha for Oa; 0.17 vs. 0.09 S t/ha for Oe and 0.15 vs. 0.06 S t/ha for Oa) than reference areas. My results suggest that the accumulation of mercury stocks in the forest floor of limed areas is a result of enhanced accumulation of organic carbon due to liming. These findings emphasize the importance of understanding of the effects of liming in forest soil, and the long-term impacts of acid deposition on the processing of mercury in forest ecosystems.


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