Project Details Atmospheric Deposition and its Impact on Ecosystems, with Reference to the Mid-East Region

Project No.:
Start Date:
01 January 2000
End Date:
27 August 2002


Atmospheric deposition of pollutants onto aquatic ecosystems is particularly relevant for semi-arid zones, like the Middle East countries, including Israel and the neighboring states. The proposed two day workshop would bring together internationally recognized experts in the field of atmospheric deposition of pollutants on aquatic ecosystems with scientists of the Middle East and with members of IUPAC DCE (VI.) and other interested bodies.


Atmospheric contamination has been shown to be a major source of pollutants including the harmful heavy metals, like lead and cadmium, in coastal seas. Fresh water lakes and water reservoirs might be even more threatened by pollutants of atmospheric origin. Components that are of particular concern are nitrogen compounds which may cause eutrophication, resulting in anoxia and nitrification of drinking water, mercury and other heavy metals, chlorinated compounds and other persistent organic pollutants, polycyclic organic matter, etc. In the USA, hundreds of lakes and streams could no longer sustain life, while the threat to forests and watersheds in many parts of the world is growing. In Israel, e.g., the fresh water Sea of Galilee, which supplies 30-40% of the water demand and whose quality was very stable for many years, is now showing a very unstable quality which may also be due to atmospheric emission and deposition. At the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, wet deposition originating from marine aerosols, maritime di-methyl sulphide gas, anthropogenic emissions from local sources and transport from Europe are compounded by the scavenging of alkaline Saharan desert dust, having a magnified effect on the cloud physics and chemistry and subsequently on the deposition onto terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.


> See Workshop announcement: ChemInt.22(1), 2000, including second circular
> WorkshopReport – 7 July 2000 ; published in Chem.Int. 22(6), 2000
> Proceedings– edited by R. Van Grieken and Y. Shevah, published by UniversiteitAntwerpen, Belgium, 2002

Project completed