What is pH?
pH is a measurement of how acidic or how basic (alkaline) a solution is. When substances dissolve in water they produce charged molecules called ions. Acidic water contains extra hydrogen ions (H+) and basic water contains extra hydroxyl (OH-) ions.
pH is measured on a scale of 0 to 14. Water that is neutral has a pH of 7. Acidic water has pH values less than 7, with 0 being the most acidic. Likewise, basic water has values greater than 7, with 14 being the most basic. A change of 1 unit on a pH scale represents a 10 fold change in the pH, so that water with pH of 6 is 10 times more acidic than water with a pH of 7, and water with a pH of 5 is 100 times more acidic than water with a pH of 7.
You might expect rainwater to be neutral, but it is actually somewhat acidic. As rain drops fall through the atmosphere, they dissolve gaseous carbon dioxide, creating a weak acid. Pure rainfall has a pH of about 5.6.
To gain credit for this Earthcache please email the owner the answers to the following questions:
1) What is the pH level of the stream?
2) Why do you think you got this level?
3) What is temperature of the water?
4) What effect to you think this has on the pH level?
5) Estimate the current flow rate of Glade Creek
6) Post a picture of the falls with or without someone in your party. (optional)