The (137)Cs-based chronological approach is suggested to identify the age of urban landscapes and the chronology of pollution of soil in residential areas. Three main pivot points constitute the basis of the chronological approach: beginning of the Atomic Era in 1945, the maximum input in 1963 and the Chernobyl accident in 1986. Application of (137)Cs as a timescale tracer was tested on the example of Ekaterinburg, a city in the Middle Urals region of Russia. The sampling of recent urban sediments of micro water bodies (puddles) was carried out in 210 locations in 2007-2010. The concentrations of Pb, Zn, Cu, Ni, Co, Mn and Fe, and activity concentrations of (137)Cs were measured. It was found that the (137)Cs concentrations in the puddle sediments correlated with the age of surrounding buildings determined by the year of construction. The correlations between the concentrations of metals and (137)Cs in the puddle sediments identified the major pollutants of the urban area, assessing their background concentrations and obtaining the average annual inputs.
This research work is devoted to analyzing the processes of accumulation and distribution of long-lived radionuclides of 90Sr and 137Cs in the components of water-sediment-macrophytes of Lake Malye Kirpichiky (Chelyabinsk region). The characteristic features of redistribution of radioactive substances, depending on the texture of the bottom sediments of the lake and the species composition of aquatic vegetation are shown. Also shown is the total stock of radionuclides in water and bottom sediments. The coefficients of 90Sr and 137Cs accumulation in bottom sediments and macrophytes have been calculated.
An environmental survey was performed in Lake Kyrtj?nn, a small lake within an abandoned shooting range in the south of Norway. In Lake Kyrtj?nn the total water concentrations of Pb (14?g/L), Cu (6.1?g/L) and Sb (1.3?g/L) were elevated compared to the nearby reference Lake Stitj?nn, where the total concentrations of Pb, Cu and Sb were 0.76, 1.8 and 0.12?g/L, respectively. Brown trout (Salmo trutta) from Lake Kyrtj?nn had very high levels of Pb in bone (104mg/kg w.w.), kidney (161mg/kg w.w.) and the gills (137mg/kg d.w), and a strong inhibition of the ALA-D enzyme activity were observed in the blood (24% of control). Dry fertilized brown trout eggs were placed in the small outlet streams from Lake Kyrtj?nn and the reference lake for 6 months, and the concentrations of Pb and Cu in eggs from the Lake Kyrtj?nn stream were significantly higher than in eggs from the reference. More than 90% of Pb accumulated in the egg shell, whereas more than 80% of the Cu and Zn accumulated in the egg interior. Pb in the lake sediments was elevated in the upper 2-5cm layer (410-2700mg/kg d.w), and was predominantly associated with redox sensitive fractions (e.g., organic materials, hydroxides) indicating low potential mobility and bioavailability of the deposited Pb. Only minor amounts of Cu and Sb were deposited in the sediments. The present work showed that the adult brown trout, as well as fertilized eggs and alevins, may be subjected to increased stress due to chronic exposure to Pb, whereas exposure to Cu, Zn and Sb were of less importance.
During the 20th century Idefjord was considered one of the most polluted marine areas in Scandinavia. For decades it received high discharges from paper/pulp industry, which made it anoxic and extremely polluted by heavy metals and organic contaminants. Today the fjord is close to fulfil a complete pollution-recovery cycle, which is recorded in its sediment archives. Here we report results from five sediment cores studied for TC, C/N, heavy metals and benthic foraminifera. All of the cores have laminations deposited during 1940-1980s and indicative of long-lasting anoxia; high TC and heavy metal content, poor foraminiferal faunas and lack of macrofauna. The upper part of the cores deposited since 1980s shows a gradual pollutant decrease and partial foraminiferal recovery. The majority of foraminiferal species in Idefjord are agglutinated opportunistic and stress-tolerant taxa, which to some extent tolerate hypoxia and are early colonisers of previously disturbed environments. The current study demonstrates a value of benthic foraminiferal stratigraphy as a useful tool in understanding processes driving environmental degradation and recovery of coastal ecosystems.
In a 2.5-year-long environmental engineering experiment in the By Fjord, surface water was pumped into the deepwater where the frequency of deepwater renewals increased by a factor of 10. During the experiment, the deepwater became long-term oxic, and nitrate became the dominating dissolved inorganic nitrogen component. The amount of phosphate in the water column decreased by a factor of 5 due to the increase in flushing and reduction in the leakage of phosphate from the sediments when the sediment surface became oxidized. Oxygenation of the sediments did not increase the leakage of toxic metals and organic pollutants. The bacterial community was the first to show changes after the oxygenation, with aerobic bacteria also thriving in the deepwater. The earlier azoic deepwater bottom sediments were colonized by animals. No structural difference between the phytoplankton communities in the By Fjord and the adjacent Havsten Fjord, with oxygenated deepwater, could be detected during the experiment.
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Hazardous substances entering the sea, and ultimately deposited in bottom sediments, pose a growing threat to marine ecosystems. The present study characterized two coastal areas exposed to significant anthropogenic impact - Gulf of Gdansk (Poland), and Oslofjord/Drammensfjord (Norway) - by conducting a multi-proxy investigation of recent sediments, and comparing the results in light of different available thresholds for selected contaminants. Sediment samples were analyzed for benzo(a)pyrene (B(a)P) and other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), nonylphenols (NPs), organotin compounds (OTs), toxic metals (Cd, Hg, Pb), as well as mutagenic, genotoxic and endocrine-disrupting activities (in CALUX bioassays). In general, a declining trend in the deposition of contaminants was observed. Sediments from both basins were not highly contaminated with PAHs, NPs and metals, while OT levels may still give rise to concern in the Norwegian fjords. The results suggest that the contamination of sediments depends also on water/sediment conditions in a given region.
The Gulf of Finland is known to have been rather largely contaminated by heavy metals during the last half of the 20th century, but indications of recovery have been reported. In order to investigate the recent levels of heavy metals and arsenic in the uppermost soft sediments of the off-shore Gulf of Finland coring of altogether 23 sites were performed. The subsamples of the cores are 605 in total and thus give a good picture of heavy metal levels in the surface sediments during the first decade of this century. In order to evaluate methods and predict sediment toxicity the sediment concentrations are compared to American SQG:s. Majority of the subsamples exceeded the threshold levels of both used SQG:s, but some exceeded also the midrange effects quality guidelines. As, Cd, Hg, and Zn concentrations still occur at unacceptably high levels in sediments of the off-shore Gulf of Finland.
In the relatively pristine ecosystem in Kejimkujik Park, Nova Scotia, methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in loons, Gavia immer, are among the highest recorded anywhere in the world. This study investigated the influence of bedrock lithology on MeHg concentrations in wetlands. Twenty-five different wetland field sites were sampled over four different bedrock lithologies; Kejimkujik monzogranite, black sulfidic slate, gray slate, and greywacke. Soil samples were analyzed for ethylmercury (EtHg), MeHg, total Hg, acid-volatile sulfides (AVS), organic matter, and water content as well as the biological parameters, mercury methyltransferase (HgMT) activity, sulfate reduction rates, fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) composition, and acidity. Methylmercury concentrations in the wetlands were highly dependent (P
Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering, Queen's University, 36 Union St., Kingston, ON K7L 3N6, Canada; Department of Earth Sciences, University of Southern California, 3651 Trousdale Pkwy, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The controls on the mobility and fate of arsenic in lakes impacted by historical gold ore roasting in northern Canada have been examined. A detailed characterization of arsenic solid and aqueous phases in lake waters, lake sediments and sediment porewaters as well as surrounding soils was conducted in three small lakes (80 wt%) of arsenic is contained in the form of secondary sulphide precipitates, with iron oxy-hydroxides hosting a minimal amount of arsenic (
Vanadium, Cr, and Ni accumulating in a Swiss peat bog since 12 370 14C yr B.P. have been measured using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) after acid dissolution in a microwave autoclave. Strict quality control schemes were applied to guarantee the accuracy of the applied analytical methodology. The concentration gradients in the peat column and comparison with Pb indicate that V, Cr, and Ni are effectively immobile in the ombrotrophic section of the peat profile but that Ni is added to the minerotrophic peat layers by chemical weathering of the underlying sediments. The lowest metal concentrations were found during the Holocene climate optimum (5320-8230 14C yr B.P.) when "natural background" values averaged 0.55 +/- 0.13 microg g(-1) V, 0.76 +/- 0.17 microg g(-1) Cr, and 0.46 +/- 0.09 microg g(-1) Ni (n = 18); given the average bulk density (0.05 g/cm3) and accumulation rate (0.05 cm/ yr) of peat in this zone, the corresponding atmospheric fluxes are approximately 14, 19, and 12 microg m(-2) yr(-1) for V, Cr, and Ni, respectively. The highest concentrations of V, Cr, and Ni were found during the Younger Dryas cold climate event (centered at 10 590 14C yr B.P.) when background values were exceeded by about 40 times. Elevated concentrations and accumulation rates were also found at 8230 and 5320 14C yr B.P., which are consistent with the elevated dust fluxes recorded by Greenland ice cores. By far the greatest contribution of the three elements to the peat inventory is atmospheric soil dust, and the metal fluxes vary not only with climate change but also land-use history (especially the beginning of forest clearing for agriculture ca. 6 millennia ago). The V/Sc, Cr/Sc, and Ni/ Sc ratios were remarkably similar to their corresponding ratios in the earth's crust until the onset of the Industrial Revolution (240 14C yr B.P.), which largely validates the use of crustal concentrations for calculating enrichment factors (EF) for these elements. In modern samples, the EFs of V, Cr, and Ni reach maximum values between 2.4 and 4.1, relative to background; anthropogenic emissions are a more likely explanation of the elevated EFs than either plant uptake or chemical diagenesis. This study demonstrates the usefulness of peat bogs as archives of atmospheric metal deposition and underpins the potential of peat cores to help distinguish between lithogenic and anthropogenic metal sources.