USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station

Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Research Topics

Monitoring: Ion Exchange Resin Columns for Measuring Throughfall and Bulk Deposition to Forests

Measurement of deposition in throughfall is a widely used method for estimating atmospheric deposition inputs to forest ecosystems. We have developed and tested a "passive" throughfall collector based on a mixed bed (cation and anion) ion exchange resin (IER) column. Information on the construction and use of these collectors is presented here.

Precipitation or throughfall samples are collected by a funnel or funnel with a snow tube, the solution is channeled through the resin column where ions are retained by the ion exchange resin. Ammonium and nitrate ions retained by the resin are then extracted and analyzed colorimetrically. Sulfate deposition can also be measured with the IER collectors using a modified extraction procedure. Studies have shown that the IER columns can be left in the field for as long as 12 months, although our standard protocol is to exchange the columns every 6 months.

Throughfall collector photo 2

Throughfall collector with resin tube covered with a protective "shade" tube

Throughfall collector photo 1

Throughfall collector with ion exchange resin column visible

Report with full description of how to build the collectors and deploy them in the field and of the processing and extraction of the resin columns after field exposure, laboratory analyses, and calculations of atmospheric deposition fluxes from the raw data.

The information provided here is for the convenience of interested parties. Mention of trade names or products is for information only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Research conducted by:
Last Modified: Mar 28, 2013 03:39:02 PM