Trace metal and geochemical variability during 5,500 years in the sediment of Lake Lehmilampi, Finland

Journal of Paleolimnology (Impact Factor: 2.14). 12/2010; 44(4):1025-1038. DOI: 10.1007/s10933-010-9471-z

ABSTRACT A high-resolution geochemical profile from a 5,500-year-old sediment core of Lake Lehmilampi in eastern Finland was analyzed
to study long-term trends and variability in element concentrations and accumulation rates. The accumulation rates of all
studied elements followed the same trend, responding to changes in the total sedimentation rate. Concentration profiles differed
among elements and showed considerable variation over time. Principal components analysis (PCA) was used on the concentration
data to identify groups of elements that have similar geochemical controls. The first principal component was influenced by
changes in mineral matter accumulation, and it incorporated elements that are associated with stable allochthonous minerals
(such as Mg, K, Cs, Rb, Li, Ti and Ga), as well as elements in forms that become diluted when mineral matter increases (e.g.,
S, Fe and Mn). The second and third principal components showed that a large proportion of the variance was accounted for
by elements with continuously increasing or decreasing concentrations related to pedogenetical development of the catchment
soil. In the case of Hg, Pb and Cd, however, accumulation rates increased faster at the surface than is simply accounted for
by changes in total sedimentation rates. For Cu, Cr, Ni and Zn, concentrations increased over the past 150years, but there
were no indications of a significant addition due to atmospheric deposition. These elements had more variable concentrations
before the mid nineteenth century than after, as did elements that are often used for normalization. These findings suggest
that lake sediments may not properly reflect the history of atmospheric metal deposition in remote areas.

KeywordsVarved sediment-Trace metals-Geochemistry-Mineral matter accumulation-Anthropogenic deposition

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