Carleton College:
Chemistry Department


Environmental Sciences at Carleton (ESC)

July 2003

Lake pH & the

Chemistry of Acid Deposition



Web sites for pH Data Activities:

1. What is the pH of rain in the US? Why might it vary?

2. What are the pH's of Minnesota lakes? How does pH vary with temperature, season, and lake depth?

What questions do these lake data raise? [Click on a lake, Color Mapper , and Surface Trends - then play around from there.] The homepage for this "Water on the Web" (WOW) site is here.

3. What are lake pH's in the northeastern US (Adirondacks)? How does this compare to MN lakes? Use general info from the Adirondacks Lake Survey Corporation, and their chemistry/nutrient/pH data on Lake Willys and Big Moose Lake.

4. What about bog soil/water pH? Check out 2 bogs in Washington state, one with some "urban disturbance". This relates to a bog we'll sample at Long Lake, MN. Explore the site for information and report back what you learn about bogs, their pH, nutrient levels, and general conditions.

5. What is the pH of a calcareous fen and what controls it? This page has pH, conductivity, and ion data for a calcareous fen in Millbrook Marsh in Western Pennslvania. You can also explore data (pH, nutrients, dissolved O2, etc. ) for water quality at the same calcareous fen.


Some definitions:


Some simple Acid Rain Experiments:

Acid Rain experiments with SO2 and NO in a petri dish, modified from the ChemConnections module on acid rain


Other sites of interest:









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This page is created and maintained by Tricia A. Ferrett.
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