A 1500-year record of lead, copper, arsenic, cadmium, zinc level in Antarctic seal hairs and sediments

Institute of Polar Environment, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230026, P. R. China.
Science of The Total Environment (Impact Factor: 4.1). 01/2007; 371(1-3):252-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2006.07.022
Source: PubMed


To reconstruct the profiles of heavy metal levels in the South Ocean ecosystem of Antarctica, the concentrations of lead (Pb), copper (Cu), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), and zinc (Zn) in seal hairs and lake sediments spanning the past 1500 years from Fildes Peninsula of King George Island and in weathering lake sediments from Nelson Island of West Antarctica were determined. The lead contents in the seal hairs and the weathering sediments show a sharp increase since the late 1800s, very likely due to anthropogenic contamination from modern industries. After the 1980s, the Pb content in seal hairs dropped by one-third, apparently due to the reduced usage of leaded gasoline in the Southern Hemisphere. Copper arises mainly from the weathering process, and its level may be substantially affected by climatic conditions. The concentrations of Cd, As, and Zn do not show any clear temporal trends.

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    • "Taken together, the data on metals do not point to significant effects from recent anthropogenic pollution in Byers Peninsula. This is in agreement with studies on trace metal contamination in Antarctic ecosystems (Bargagli, 2000, 2008; Sánchez-Hernández, 2000), indicating that Pb is probably the only metal whose biogeochemical cycle has been significantly affected by anthropogenic emissions (Sun and Xie, 2001; Yin et al., 2006), and that in coastal ecosystems – like the Byers Peninsula – the input of metals from "
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    ABSTRACT: We sampled a short (57 cm) sediment core in Limnopolar Lake (Byers Peninsula, Livingston Island, South Shetlands Islands), which spans the last ~ 1600 years. The core was sectioned at high resolution and analyzed for elemental and mineralogical composition, and SEM-EDS analysis of glass mineral particles in selected samples. The chemical record was characterized by a contrasted pattern of layers with high Ca, Ti, Zr, and Sr concentrations and layers with higher concentrations of K and Rb. The first also enriched in plagioclase and, occasionally, in zeolites, while the later were relatively enriched in 2:1 phyllosilicates and quartz. This was interpreted as reflecting the abundance of volcaniclastic material (Ca-rich) vs. Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous marine sediments (K-rich) - the dominant geological material in the lake catchment. SEM-EDS analysis revealed the presence of abundant volcanic shards in the Ca-rich layers, pointing to tephras most probably related to the activity of Deception Island volcano (located 30 km to the SE). The ages of the four main peaks of volcanic-rich material (AD ~ 1840-1860 for L1, AD ~ 1570-1650 for L2, AD ~ 1450-1470 for L3, and AD ~ 1300 for L4) matched reasonably well the age of tephra layers (AP1 to AP3) previously identified in lakes of Byers Peninsula. Some of the analyzed metals (Fe, Mn, Cu and Cr) showed enrichments in the most recent tephra layer (L1), suggesting relative changes in the composition of the tephras as found in previous investigations. No evidence of significant human impact on the cycles of most trace metals (Cu, Zn, Pb) was found, probably due to the remote location of Livingston Island and the modest research infrastructures - local contamination was found by other researchers in soils, waters and marine sediments on areas with large, permanent, research stations. Chromium is the only metal showing a steady enrichment in the last 200 years that could be interpreted as recent anthropogenic contamination. At the same time, some features of the chemical record suggest that climate may have also played a role in the cycling of the elements, but further research is needed to identify the underlying mechanisms.
    Solid Earth 02/2014; 6(1). DOI:10.5194/sed-6-761-2014 · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    • "At one end we have the idea of a pristine environment totally unaffected by human activity -there can be few places on earth that are actually in this state (Yin et al. 2006). At the other end-point we have intense anthropogenic activity that has a likelihood of leading to contamination. "
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    ABSTRACT: Geochemical mapping is a technique rooted in mineral exploration but has now found worldwide application in studies of the urban environment. Such studies, involving multidisciplinary teams including geochemists, have to present their results in a way that nongeochemists can comprehend. A legislatively driven demand for urban geochemical data in connection with the need to identify contaminated land and subsequent health risk assessments has given rise to a greater worldwide interest in the urban geochemical environment. Herein, the aims and objectives of some urban studies are reviewed and commonly used terms such as baseline and background are defined. Geochemists need to better consider what is meant by the term urban. Whilst the unique make up of every city precludes a single recommended approach to a geochemical mapping strategy, more should be done to standardise the sampling and analytical methods. How (from a strategic and presentational point of view) and why we do geochemical mapping studies is discussed.
    Environmental Geochemistry and Health 07/2008; 30(6):511-30. DOI:10.1007/s10653-008-9189-2 · 2.57 Impact Factor
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    • "Human factor or known as anthropogenic sources is the major contributor to river water and sediment pollution . During the course of the 20th century anthropogenic influence in river systems has become an increasing limiting factor of river discharge ( Gonzales et al . , 2006 ; Heininger et al . , 2006 ; Ghrefat and Yusuf , 2006 ; Yin et al . , 2006 ; Rieumont et al . , 2004 ) . The trace element that identifies as most impacted elements by human activities is Cd , Cu , Hg and Zn ( Davide et al . , 2002 ) . However , according to Marchand et al ( 2005 ) , the variations in heavy metal content with depth or between mangrove areas result largely from diagenetic processes rather than "
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    ABSTRACT: Sungai Batu Pahat is undergoing poor condition in term of water quality and riverbank vegetation. This study was focus on determining the status of Sungai Batu Pahat due to quantitative and qualitative of water quality and biodiversity analysis. There are six major water quality parameter that considered in this study which are dissolved oxygen (DO), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), ammoniacal nitrogen (NH3-N), suspended solid (SS) and pH. Biodiversity parameter consists of fish, zooplankton, phytoplankton, macrobenthos and riverbank vegetation. Water quality shows a consistent level with low quality of water which is class III at upstream and downstream but dropped to class IV at middle stream according to DOE-WQI. This could be a consequence of riverbank landuse activities such as quarry and settlement. If based on biodiversity data, the juvenile commercial fish still exist correspond to >2 mg/L of DO concentration and quality food supply from riverbank vegetation. Generally, the distribution of planktonic life and macroinvertebrates within study area was tidal and mangrove dependent. Biodiversity was found abundance at downstream and present with low number and species at upstream and downstream probably because lands use activities. Biodiversity that mostly found within study area is tolerant species to low dissolved oxygen concentration and pH. The impact of water quality can clearly be seen with respect to macrobenthos habitat. Macrobenthos almost disappeared during study event and only tolerant species was present. However, the abundance of high demanding biodiversity (zooplankton and phytoplankton) giving the good result that Sungai Batu Pahat still can support aquatic life due in term of shelter, feeding and breeding area even, the quality of water shows otherwise.
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