Acidification

This process of lake deterioration is caused mainly by acid precipitation and deposition. The nitrogen and sulfur

Figure 5 Lake Biwa in Japan is a very important recreational area for the population. A museum has been erected to present for the population all aspects of the lake: the culture, the limnology, the geology, and the history.

compounds that cause this problem are emitted by industrial activities and by the consumption of fossil fuels, and fall to the land surface. The water in a lake can become acidic over time if its drainage basin does not contain the appropriate soil and geologic characteristics to neutralize the acidic water prior to its inflow into the lake. The primary consequence of acidification of lake water is the significant reduction of species diversity, the extinction of fish populations, and the disruption of lake ecosystem equilibrium. Other causes of lake acidification also exist, including water discharges from mining activities and the direct discharge of industrial waste effluents containing acidic components. Natural sources of acidifying substances include volcanic activities and natural emissions of gases. This problem, because of the geological characteristics, has been a major problem in Scandinavia (except the most southern Scandinavia) and the northeastern United States.

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