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Streams become more acidic and removes minerals from the rocks. Water contains more Pb , Cu, and Hg (heavy metals) Kills aquatic life Damages bridges Contaminates drinking water. Acid Mine Drainage (AMD). Pyrite fool’s gold. 4 FeS 2 + 15 O 2 + 14 H 2 O  4 Fe(OH) 3 + 8 H 2 SO 4.

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Streams become more acidic and removes minerals from the rocks.

Water contains more Pb, Cu, and Hg

(heavy metals)

Kills aquatic life

Damages bridges

Contaminates drinking water

Acid Mine Drainage (AMD)


Pyrite rocks.

fool’s gold

4 FeS2 + 15 O2 + 14 H2O  4 Fe(OH)3 + 8 H2SO4

“yellow boy” (iron hydroxide) yellow-orange solid

Pyrite (iron sulfide)

sulfuric acid


Reacts with limestone and marble rocks.

Damages buildings and works of art


A mixture of wet and dry deposition (deposited material) from the atmosphere containing higher than normal amounts of nitric and sulfuric acids.

Wet Deposition – acidic rain, fog and snow.

Dry Deposition - acid chemicals incorporated into dust or smoke.

Acid Rain (refer to handout)


Accumulates in soil, lakes and streams from the atmosphere containing higher than normal amounts of nitric and sulfuric acids.

Kills plants – damage of trees at high elevations

Accelerates the decay of building materials, paints, statues

Acid Rain Effects


On pH scale from the atmosphere containing higher than normal amounts of nitric and sulfuric acids.

US typical reading is 4.3 (5.6 is typical atmosphere conditions)

How Acid Rain is Measured?


1. Clean –up smokestacks and exhaust pipes from the atmosphere containing higher than normal amounts of nitric and sulfuric acids.

“scrubbers”- chemically remove SO2

2. Use alternative energy sources

wind, solar, geothermal, natural gas

3. Restore a damaged environment

add limestone or lime to acidic lakes

Acid Rain reduction


http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/acidrain.html from the atmosphere containing higher than normal amounts of nitric and sulfuric acids.


http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/acidrain.html from the atmosphere containing higher than normal amounts of nitric and sulfuric acids.


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