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Geosciences 2017, 7(3), 54; doi:10.3390/geosciences7030054

Evidence of Road Salt in New Hampshire’s Snowpack Hundreds of Meters from Roadways

Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, University of New Hampshire, 8 College Rd, Morse Hall, Durham, NH 03824, USA
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Received: 1 May 2017 / Revised: 28 June 2017 / Accepted: 30 June 2017 / Published: 7 July 2017
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Abstract

Salinization of surface and groundwater has been directly linked to the area of road surfaces in a watershed and the subsequent wintertime maintenance used to keep roads free of snow and ice. Most studies that explore road salt in snow along roadways limit the study to within 100 m from a roadway and conclude that there is negligible deposition of de-icing salt at distances greater than 100 m. In this study, we analyze the ion content of the southern New Hampshire snowpack and use Mg2+ as a conservative sea-salt tracer to calculate sea salt and non-sea salt fractions of Cl. There is a minimum of 60% non-sea salt Cl, which we attribute to road salt, in the snowpack at our study sites 115 to 350 m from the nearest maintained roadways. This suggests that larger areas need to be considered when investigating the negative impact of Cl loading due to winter-time maintenance. View Full-Text
Keywords: winter-time maintenance; chloride; salinization; ion pulse; sea salt aerosol; impervious surfaces winter-time maintenance; chloride; salinization; ion pulse; sea salt aerosol; impervious surfaces
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lazarcik, J.; Dibb, J.E. Evidence of Road Salt in New Hampshire’s Snowpack Hundreds of Meters from Roadways. Geosciences 2017, 7, 54.

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