Natural fluctuations of mercury and lead in Greenland lake sediments
2006 (English)In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 0013-936X, E-ISSN 1520-5851, Vol. 40, no 1, 90-95 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Given the current scenario of increasing global temperatures, it is valuable to assess the potential influence of changing climate on pollution distribution and deposition. In this study we use long-term sediment records from three lakes (spanning ca. 1000, 4800, and 8000 years, respectively) from the Greenland west coast to assess recent and long-term variations in mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb), including stable Pb isotopes (206Pb and 207Pb), in terms of pollution and climate influences. The temporal trends in sediment deposited from about the mid-19th century and forward are in general agreement with the history of industrial emissions at lower latitudes. Therefore, in recent sediment a possible influence from changing climate is difficult to assess. However, by using deeper sediment layers we show that changes in Greenland climate caused changes in the lake influx of material from regional aeolian activity, which resulted in large fluctuations in Hg and Pb concentrations and206Pb/207Pb ratios. The aeolian material is primarily derived from glacio-fluvial material with low Hg and Pb concentrations and a different isotopic composition. For one of the lakes, the fluctuations in Hg concentrations (10 to 70 ng g-1) prior to the 19th century are equal to the anthropogenic increase in the uppermost layers, suggesting that when studying recent concentrations and time trends of pollution in relatively low-contaminated areas such as the Arctic, the early natural fluctuations must be considered.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Chemical Society , 2006. Vol. 40, no 1, 90-95 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-2196DOI: 10.1021/es051223yOAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-2196DiVA: diva2:140077