Snow samples were collected during winter 2011/2012 in three posts in the Western Sudety Mountains (Poland) in 3 consecutive phases of snow cover development, i.e. stabilisation (Feb 1st), growth (Mar 15th) and its ablation (Mar 27th). To maintain a fixed number of samples, each snow profile has been divided into six layers, but hydrochemical indications were made for each 10 cm section of core. The complete data set was subjected in the first run of chemometric data interpretation to Cluster Analysis as well as Principal Components Analysis. Further, Self-Organizing Maps, type of neutral network described by Kohonen were used for visualization and interpretation of large high-dimensional data sets. For each site the hierarchical Ward’s method of linkage, squared Euclidean distance as similarity measure, standardized raw data, cluster significance test according to Sneath’s criterion clustering of the chemical variables was done. Afterwards this grouping of the chemical variables was confirmed by the results from Principal Components Analysis. The major conclusion is that the whole system of three sampling sites four patterns of variable groupings are observed: the first one is related to the mineral salt impact; the second one - with the impact of secondary emissions and organic pollutants; next one - with dissolved matter effect and the last one - with oxidative influence, again with relation to anthropogenic activities like smog, coal burning, traffic etc. It might be also concluded that specificity of the samples is determined by the factors responsible for the data set structure and not by particular individual or time factors.
Sulphur and nitrogen deposition were calculated with the FRAME model and used to assess the exceedances of the critical loads for acidification and eutrophication of natural ecosystems in Poland. For the first time two tools: the FRAME and SONOX models were used jointly to provide information on ecosystems at risk. The FRAME model obtained close agreement with available sulphur and nitrogen wet deposition measurements. The total mass of sulphur deposited in Poland in year 2008 was estimated as 292 Gg S. Total deposition of nitrogen (oxidized + reduced) is 389 Gg N. 11% of the ecosystems in Poland were calculated to be at risk of acidification due to deposition of sulphur and nitrogen. In the case of eutrophication, over 95% of terrestrial ecosystems are at risk due to the large deposition of nitrogen compounds.