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Data Series 721

Prepared in cooperation with the National Park Service
Version 1.1, March 2013

Atmospheric Deposition, Water-Quality, and Sediment Data for Selected Lakes in Mount Rainier, North Cascades, and Olympic National Parks, Washington, 2008–10

By Rich W. Sheibley, James R. Foreman, Patrick W. Moran, and Peter W. Swarzenski

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (3.5 MB)Abstract

To evaluate the potential effect from atmospheric deposition of nitrogen to high-elevation lakes, the U.S. Geological Survey partnered with the National Park Service to develop a “critical load” of nitrogen for sediment diatoms. A critical load is defined as the level of a given pollutant (in this case, nitrogen) at which detrimental effects to a target endpoint (sediment diatoms) result. Because sediment diatoms are considered one of the “first responders” to ecosystem changes from nitrogen, they are a sensitive indicator for nitrogen deposition changes in natural areas. This report presents atmospheric deposition, water quality, sediment geochronology, and sediment diatom data collected from July 2008 through August 2010 in support of this effort.

Revised March 7, 2013

First posted October 15, 2012

For additional information contact:
Director, Washington Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
934 Broadway, Suite 300
Tacoma, Washington 98402

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Suggested citation:

Sheibley, R.W., Foreman, J.R., Moran, P.W., and Swarzenski, P.W., 2012, Atmospheric deposition, water-quality, and sediment data for selected lakes in Mount Rainer, North Cascades, and Olympic National Parks, Washington, 2008–10: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 721, 34 p. 




Study Areas


Atmospheric Deposition Data

Water-Quality Data

Sediment Chemistry Data

Sediment Geochronology Data

Sediment Diatom Data



Diatom Tables

References Cited

Appendix A. Quality-Assurance and Quality-Control Data

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