Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): A. Bytnerowicz; W. Fraczek; S. SchillingD. Alexander
    Date: 2010
    Source: Journal of Limnology 69(Suppl. 1): 11-21
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.95 MB)


    Monthly average ambient concentrations of gaseous nitric acid (HNO3) and ammonia (NH3) were monitored at the Athabasca Oils Sands Region (AOSR), Alberta, Canada, between May 2005 and September 2008. Generally, concentrations of both pollutants were elevated and highly variable in space and time. The highest atmospheric concentrations occurred in the vicinity of the major mining and oil extraction activities of Fort Murray and Fort McKay. Maximum monthly average concentrations of HNO3 decreased from >6 μg m–3 2005 and 2006 to <4 μg m–3 in 2007 and 2008. While the HNO3 summer seasonal averages in 2005 and 2006 approached ~2 μg m–3 at some sites, in the subsequent summers and during winter seasons it rarely exceeded 1 μg m–3 and no clear differences between summer and winter occurred. Concentrations of NH3 were elevated during the entire study and frequently reached 6 μg m–3. Generally, NH3 stayed higher in summer than in winter; the summer seasonal averages often exceeded 4 μg m–3 while those for winter only on two occasions were above 3 μg m–3. In summer 2008, an expansion of the area with elevated NH3 levels was observed extending to remote locations. Ammonia is of a much higher concern from a perspective of possible biological effects, because of its potential for direct toxic effect on lichens and its contribution to the elevated N dry deposition with possible negative consequences for forests and other ecosystems.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    A. Bytnerowicz; W. Fraczek; S. Schilling; D. Alexander (2010) Spatial and temporal distribution of ambient nitric acid and ammonia in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta.Journal of Limnology 69(Suppl. 1): 11-21. DOI: 10.3274/JL10-69-S1-03


    Google Scholar


    air pollution, passive samplers, nitrogen deposition, boreal forests, potential phytotoxic effects, Canada

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page