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Rain and Rocks: The Recipe for River Water Chemistry


  1. Mohammed Riajul Islam

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.me276

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Islam, M. R. 2005. Rain and Rocks: The Recipe for River Water Chemistry. Water Encyclopedia. 4:371–377.

Author Information

  1. University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


Aerosols are the primary source of chemical elements transported by rainwater, which are removed from the atmosphere by rainout or by washout. Atmospheric aerosols (sea salt, crustal dust, and biogenic aerosols) have been found as the major sources of dissolved species in river water. Dissolved components from rainwater come from those originating from sea salt aerosols; from those originating from terrestrial aerosols (soil dust, biological emissions); and from those originating from anthropogenic sources (industry, agriculture, burning of fossil fuels, etc.).

Along with the geological characterization of the watershed, meteorological parameters are critically important in evaluating rainfall effects.


  • rainout;
  • washout;
  • sea salt aerosols;
  • terrestrial aerosols;
  • rainwater chemistry;
  • strontium isotope