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Seminar, Ruth Heindel

March 8 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm MST

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What falls from the sky? Atmospheric deposition along an urban-remote transect in the Colorado Front Range

Ruth Heindel

Atmospheric deposition can deliver significant quantities of nutrients and pollutants to sensitive mountain ecosystems, especially when these ecosystems are adjacent to urban centers. Nutrient delivery from atmospheric deposition has been tied to shifts in nutrient processing, declines in biodiversity, and decreased water quality. However, many unanswered questions remain about the spatial extent of urban and agricultural emissions and the spatial and temporal variability of deposition across complex mountainous terrain. In this talk, I will present findings from our research into the deposition of reactive nitrogen and dust along an urban-remote transect in the Colorado Front Range. I will show that deposition of both reactive nitrogen and dust were much higher at the urban sites than in the remote alpine and subalpine, but anthropogenic emissions did reach these remote ecosystems. Elevated levels of reactive nitrogen deposition in the foothills adjacent to Boulder suggest that for atmospheric deposition, the urban footprint goes beyond the land-use boundary. Our results highlight the importance of urban and agricultural monitoring locations to fully account for reactive nitrogen and dust deposition. As urban centers like the Boulder-Denver metro area continue to grow, so too will the atmospheric delivery of nutrients and pollutants to adjacent mountain ecosystems.

When: March 8, 2021
Time: 3:00 PM
Where: Zoom Meeting ID: 982 8663 6944