The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Reconstructing historical trends in metal input in heavily-disturbed, contaminated estuaries: studies from Bilbao, Southampton Water and Sicily

Record type: Article

Estuaries may be important reservoirs for contaminants as they tend to act as sinks for fine, contaminant-reactive sediments, and, historically, they have acted as centres for industrial and urban development. Analysis of dated sediment cores from these areas may allow historical trends in heavy metal input to be reconstructed, and recent and historical inputs of metal contaminants to be compared. Undisturbed saltmarsh settings have been used widely in the reconstruction of historical trends in metal input as saltmarshes provide a stable, vegetated substrate of dominantly fine sediments, and are less prone to erosion and reworking than adjacent mudflat areas. In comparison, much less research on historical pollution trends has been undertaken at estuarine sites which are prone to severe local disturbance, such as intertidal areas which are routinely dredged or where sedimentary processes have been modified by human activities such as shipping, salt working, port activities, land claim etc. This paper assesses the usefulness of 210Pb and 137Cs dating, combined with geochemical studies, in reconstructing historical trends in heavy metal input and sediment accretion in 3 heavily-modified, industrialised estuarine areas in Europe: the Bilbao estuary (Spain), Southampton Water (UK), and the Mulinello estuary (Sicily). Of these sites, only a salt marsh core from the Mulinello estuary provides a high-resolution record of recent heavy metal inputs. In Southampton Water only a partial record of changing metal inputs over time is retained due to land-claim and possible early-diagenetic remobilisation, while at Bilbao the vertical distribution of heavy metals in intertidal flats is mainly controlled by input on reworked sediment particles and variations in sediment composition. Where 137Cs and 210Pb distributions with depth allow a chronology of sediment deposition to be established, and early-diagenetic remobilisation has been minimal, mudflat and saltmarsh cores from even the most heavily-disturbed estuarine sites can provide useful information on variations in historical contaminant input. When the sediments have been vigorously mixed or reworked, large-scale compositional variations are present, or significant early-diagenetic remobilisation has occurred, however, only general information on the scale of contamination can be obtained.

Full text not available from this repository.

Citation

Cundy, A.B., Croudace, I.W., Cearreta, A. and Irabien, M.J. (2003) Reconstructing historical trends in metal input in heavily-disturbed, contaminated estuaries: studies from Bilbao, Southampton Water and Sicily Applied Geochemistry, 18, (2), pp. 311-325. (doi:10.1016/S0883-2927(02)00127-0).

More information

Published date: 2003

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 1360
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/1360
ISSN: 0883-2927
PURE UUID: 22665e3b-c13a-4878-b320-265a54834fc7
ORCID for A.B. Cundy: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4368-2569

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 16 Apr 2004
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 17:16

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: A.B. Cundy ORCID iD
Author: I.W. Croudace
Author: A. Cearreta
Author: M.J. Irabien

University divisions


Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×