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Industrial-era lead and mercury contamination in southern Greenland implicates North American sources
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. (Arcum)
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2018 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 613-614, p. 919-930Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To study the long-range transport of atmospheric pollutants from lower latitude industrial areas to the Arctic, we analysed a peat core spanning the last similar to 700 cal. yr (similar to 1300-2000 CE) from southern Greenland, an area sensitive to atmospheric pollution from North American and Eurasian sources. A previous investigation conducted in the same location recorded atmospheric lead (Pb) pollution after similar to 1845, with peak values recorded in the 1970s, and concluded that a North American source was most likely. To confirm the origin of the lead, we present new Pb isotope data from Sandhavn, together with a high-resolution record for mercury (Hg) deposition. Results demonstrate that the mercury accumulation rate has steadily increased since the beginning of the 19th century, with maximum values of 9.3 mu g m(-2) yr(-1) recorded similar to 1940. Lead isotopic ratios show two mixing lines: one which represents inputs from local and regional geogenic sources, and another that comprises regional geogenic and pollution sources. Detrending the Pb isotopic ratio record (thereby extracting the effect of the geogenic mixing) has enabled us to reconstruct a detailed chronology of metal pollution. The first sustained decrease in Pb isotope signals is recorded as beginning similar to 1740-1780 with the lowest values (indicating the highest pollution signature) dated to similar to 1960-1970. The 206Pb/207Pb ratio of excess Pb (measuring 1.222, and reflecting pollution generated Pb), when compared with the Pb isotopic composition of the Sandhavn peat record since the 19th century and the timing of Pb enrichments, clearly points to the dominance of pollution sources fromNorth America, although it did not prove possible to further differentiate the emissions sources geographically.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 613-614, p. 919-930
Keywords [en]
Hg, Pb isotopes, Peat, Metal pollution, Isotopic residuals, Atmospheric deposition
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-141961DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.09.041ISI: 000414160500095OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-141961DiVA, id: diva2:1163343
Available from: 2017-12-06 Created: 2017-12-06 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Bindler, Richard

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