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Recent salt marsh development and natural regeneration of reclaimed areas in the Plentzia estuary, N. Spain

Recent salt marsh development and natural regeneration of reclaimed areas in the Plentzia estuary, N. Spain
Recent salt marsh development and natural regeneration of reclaimed areas in the Plentzia estuary, N. Spain
The distribution of benthic foraminifera, a range of elements, and 137Cs and 210Pb were studied in surface sediments and 0·5 m cores from the Plentzia estuarine marshes (northern Spain) to determine the recent development of these previously reclaimed coastal areas. These marshes receive abundant calcium carbonate from regional rocks and this allows calcareous foraminifera to colonize all marsh subenvironments. Good preservation of the original foraminiferal assemblages in the buried sediments is also favoured by high regional background carbonate. Benthic foraminifera are shown to be sensitive to both elevation above mean sea level (exposure) and salinity. Results from the chemical analyses indicate moderate anthropogenic pollution in the estuary, and maximum input seems to have occurred in the 1960s. Recent marsh foraminiferal assemblages are good analogues for the palaeoenvironmental interpretation of historical and Holocene cores, and the combined micropalaeontological/geochemical approach is demonstrated to be successful for the identification of short-term anthropogenic impacts on this coastal region.
benthic foraminifera, heavy metals, 137Cs and 210Pb dating, sedimentary record, environmental restoration, Plentzia Estuary salt marshes
0272-7714
863-886
Cearreta, A.
9be57952-6999-443b-a045-1a064e57bbd3
Ulibarra, I.
ff5bc27b-9706-412d-a76b-3f3bfa2f7484
Irabien, M.J.
36d69b53-ddea-4906-a529-a25befebcebb
Yusta, L.
d369037f-b6dc-4ef2-a8b4-5c364f35929c
Leorri, E.
721104f5-7b35-4e17-8892-4e2a229135ad
Croudace, I.W.
24deb068-d096-485e-8a23-a32b7a68afaf
Cundy, A.B.
994fdc96-2dce-40f4-b74b-dc638286eb08
Cearreta, A.
9be57952-6999-443b-a045-1a064e57bbd3
Ulibarra, I.
ff5bc27b-9706-412d-a76b-3f3bfa2f7484
Irabien, M.J.
36d69b53-ddea-4906-a529-a25befebcebb
Yusta, L.
d369037f-b6dc-4ef2-a8b4-5c364f35929c
Leorri, E.
721104f5-7b35-4e17-8892-4e2a229135ad
Croudace, I.W.
24deb068-d096-485e-8a23-a32b7a68afaf
Cundy, A.B.
994fdc96-2dce-40f4-b74b-dc638286eb08

Cearreta, A., Ulibarra, I., Irabien, M.J., Yusta, L., Leorri, E., Croudace, I.W. and Cundy, A.B. (2002) Recent salt marsh development and natural regeneration of reclaimed areas in the Plentzia estuary, N. Spain. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 54, 863-886. (doi:10.1006/ecss.2001.0862).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The distribution of benthic foraminifera, a range of elements, and 137Cs and 210Pb were studied in surface sediments and 0·5 m cores from the Plentzia estuarine marshes (northern Spain) to determine the recent development of these previously reclaimed coastal areas. These marshes receive abundant calcium carbonate from regional rocks and this allows calcareous foraminifera to colonize all marsh subenvironments. Good preservation of the original foraminiferal assemblages in the buried sediments is also favoured by high regional background carbonate. Benthic foraminifera are shown to be sensitive to both elevation above mean sea level (exposure) and salinity. Results from the chemical analyses indicate moderate anthropogenic pollution in the estuary, and maximum input seems to have occurred in the 1960s. Recent marsh foraminiferal assemblages are good analogues for the palaeoenvironmental interpretation of historical and Holocene cores, and the combined micropalaeontological/geochemical approach is demonstrated to be successful for the identification of short-term anthropogenic impacts on this coastal region.

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Published date: 2002
Keywords: benthic foraminifera, heavy metals, 137Cs and 210Pb dating, sedimentary record, environmental restoration, Plentzia Estuary salt marshes

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 12625
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/12625
ISSN: 0272-7714
PURE UUID: 294ab249-9d0a-4a38-b5f0-15fe5e9e1491
ORCID for A.B. Cundy: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4368-2569

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Date deposited: 02 Dec 2004
Last modified: 29 Aug 2019 00:32

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Contributors

Author: A. Cearreta
Author: I. Ulibarra
Author: M.J. Irabien
Author: L. Yusta
Author: E. Leorri
Author: I.W. Croudace
Author: A.B. Cundy ORCID iD

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