Smith, R.I.; Dore, A.J.; Tang, Y.S.; Stedman, J.R.

Sulphur and nitrogen atmospheric Concentration Based Estimated Deposition (CBED) data for the UK (2013-2015)

These datasets provide Concentration Based Estimated Deposition (CBED) values of sulphur and nitrogen atmospheric deposition for 5x5 kilometre (km) grid squares of the UK averaged over the years 2013 to 2015.

The data consist of deposition values for sulphur, oxidised nitrogen and reduced nitrogen, and base cations. Total deposition is the sum of four components calculated separately: wet deposition, dry deposition of gases, dry deposition of particulate matter and cloud droplet deposition.

Habitat-specific data are provided for (i) moorland/short vegetation everywhere, and (ii) forest everywhere. Additionally, the grid square average over multiple land cover types (i.e. arable, grassland, forest, moorland, urban) is also calculated. The habitat-specific data are recommended for use with critical loads for the calculation of critical load exceedances. The work in generating and compiling the dataset has been funded by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) and various Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) contracts.

This work was supported by the Natural Environment Research Council award number NE/R016429/1 as part of the UK-SCAPE programme delivering National Capability.

Publication date: 2018-08-03


Study area
Temporal extent
2013-01-01    to    2015-12-31

Provenance & quality

The Concentration Based Estimated Deposition (CBED) methodology generates 5x5 km resolution maps of wet and dry deposition of sulphur, oxidised and reduced nitrogen, and base cations from measured concentrations of gases and particulate matter in air and measured concentrations of ions in precipitation. These data are collected at sites in the UK Eutrophying and Acidifying Pollutants (UKEAP) network. The site-based measurements are first interpolated to generate maps of concentrations for the UK. The ion concentrations in precipitation are combined with an annual precipitation map from the UK Meteorological Office to generate values of wet deposition. Gas and particulate matter concentration maps are combined with spatially distributed estimates of habitat-specific deposition velocities to generate dry deposition for 5 land cover categories: forest, moorland, grassland, arable and urban. The deposition to the 5 land cover categories are combined, depending on the relative proportions of different land cover categories in the 5x5 km grid square, to generate values for grid square averaged deposition. Dry deposition includes deposition of gases (Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Nitric Acid (HNO3), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and Ammonia (NH3) and particulate matter (sulphate, nitrate, ammonium, calcium and magnesium) to vegetation. For critical load exceedance calculations, deposition values for moorland are applied to all non-woodland habitats, and deposition values for forest are applied to all woodland habitats.

Data processing was done using the GenStat programme and results output as text files. These were then exported as comma separated values for ingestion into the Environmental Information Data Centre.

Supplemental information

RoTAP. 2012. Review of Transboundary Air Pollution: Acidifcation, Eutrophication, Ground Level Ozone and Heavy Metals in the UK. Contract Report to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.
Beswick, K.M., Choularton, T.W., Inglis, D.W.F., Dore, A.J. & Fowler, D. 2003. Influences on long-term trends in ion concentration and deposition at Holme Moss. Atmospheric Environment, 37 (14), 1927-1940.
Dore, A.J., Choularton, T.W. & Inglis, D.W.F. 2001. Monitoring studies of precipitation and cap cloud chemistry at Holme Moss in the Southern Pennines. Water, Air and Soil Pollution: Focus 1; 381-390.
Fowler, D., Cape, J.N., Leith, I.D., Choularton, T.W., Gay, M.J. & Jones, A. 1988. The influence of altitude on rainfall composition at Great Dun Fell. Atmospheric Environment, 22, 1355-1362.
Stedman, J.R., Kent, A.J., Grice, S., Bush, T.J. & Derwent, R.G. 2007. A consistent method for modelling PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations across the United Kingdom in 2004 for air quality assessment. Atmospheric Environment, 41, 161-172.
Hallsworth, S.; Dore, A.J.; Bealey, W.J.; Dragosits, U.; Vieno, M.; Hellsten, S.; Tang, Y.S.; Sutton, M.A.. 2010 The role of indicator choice in quantifying the threat of atmospheric ammonia to the 'Natura 2000' network. Environmental Science & Policy, 13. 671-687.
Smith, R. I.; Fowler, D.; Sutton, M. A.; Flechard, C.; Coyle, M.. 2000 Regional estimation of pollutant gas dry deposition in the UK: model description, sensitivity analyses and outputs. Atmospheric Environment, 34 (22). 3757-3777.

Correspondence/contact details

Bealey, W.J.
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Bush Estate
EH26 0QB


Smith, R.I.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Dore, A.J.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Tang, Y.S.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Stedman, J.R.
Ricardo Energy & Environment

Other contacts

NERC EDS Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre

Additional metadata

Topic categories
Climatology / Meteorology / Atmosphere , Environment
Air Air Quality base cations,  Clean air Concentration Based Estimated Deposition (CBED),  deposition Maps nitrogen,  pollutant,  sulphur,  UK-SCAPE
Atmospheric Conditions
Natural Environment Research Council Award: NE/R016429/1
Spatial representation type
Tabular (text)
Spatial reference system
OSGB 1936 / British National Grid
Last updated
25 June 2021 18:40