Widespread waterborne pollution in central Swedish lakes and the Baltic Sea from pre-industrial mining and metallurgy
2009 (English)Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Metal pollution is viewed as a modern problem that began in the 19th century and accelerated through the 20th century; however, in many parts of the globe this view is wrong. Here, we studied past waterborne metal pollution in lake sediments from the Bergslagen region in central Sweden, one of many historically important mining regions in Europe. With a focus on lead (including isotopes), we trace mining impacts from a local scale, through a 120-km-long river system draining into Mälaren Sweden's third largest lake, and finally also the Baltic Sea. Comparison of sediment and peat records shows that pollution from Swedish mining was largely waterborne and that atmospheric deposition was dominated by long-range transport from other regions. Swedish ore lead is detectable from the 10th century, but the greatest impact occurred during the 16th18th centuries with improvements occurring over recent centuries, i.e., historical pollution > modern industrial pollution.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 157, 2132-2141 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-23252DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2009.02.003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-23252DiVA: diva2:222378