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Reliability of salt marshes as “geochemical recorders” of pollution input: a case study from contrasting estuaries in southern England

Reliability of salt marshes as “geochemical recorders” of pollution input: a case study from contrasting estuaries in southern England
Reliability of salt marshes as “geochemical recorders” of pollution input: a case study from contrasting estuaries in southern England
Temperate, mesotidal salt marshes are usually good “geochemical recorders” of pollutant input. Dated salt marsh cores from the Hamble, Itchen (Southampton Water), and Beaulieu estuaries (southern U.K.) are assessed. Sediments show clear labeling from effluents, which varies depending on their proximity to major urban or industrial areas. For elements where input is dominantly from a single source and periods of peak discharge are known (i.e., Cu, 137Cs, and 60Co), historical records of pollutant input can be reconstructed, provided redistribution through sediment mixing or early diagenetic processes is minimal. Where the pollutant has a range of sources (i.e., Pb) or where physical mixing in-estuary produces a time-integrated signal, it can prove extremely difficult to relate concentration depth profiles to discharge histories. Using concentration and stable Pb isotope data, the observed temporal input of Pb to these marshes is shown to reflect a complex, mixed marine/atmospheric input from regional (automobile emission) and local (urban/industrial) sources. While general trends in pollutant loading may still be observed, it is extremely difficult to reconstruct accurately temporal trends in Pb input and sources of Pb in these estuaries using salt marsh records due to the importance of local, poorly-defined Pb sources and in-estuary mixing processes.
0013-936X
1093-1101
Cundy, Andrew B.
994fdc96-2dce-40f4-b74b-dc638286eb08
Croudace, Ian W.
24deb068-d096-485e-8a23-a32b7a68afaf
Thomson, John
ab84c08c-7a63-4129-baa0-2a18ebf8c69a
Lewis, James L.
0d5ba019-2003-4792-9fa2-971a167f4c31
Cundy, Andrew B.
994fdc96-2dce-40f4-b74b-dc638286eb08
Croudace, Ian W.
24deb068-d096-485e-8a23-a32b7a68afaf
Thomson, John
ab84c08c-7a63-4129-baa0-2a18ebf8c69a
Lewis, James L.
0d5ba019-2003-4792-9fa2-971a167f4c31

Cundy, Andrew B., Croudace, Ian W., Thomson, John and Lewis, James L. (1997) Reliability of salt marshes as “geochemical recorders” of pollution input: a case study from contrasting estuaries in southern England. Environmental Science & Technology, 31 (4), 1093-1101.

Record type: Article

Abstract

Temperate, mesotidal salt marshes are usually good “geochemical recorders” of pollutant input. Dated salt marsh cores from the Hamble, Itchen (Southampton Water), and Beaulieu estuaries (southern U.K.) are assessed. Sediments show clear labeling from effluents, which varies depending on their proximity to major urban or industrial areas. For elements where input is dominantly from a single source and periods of peak discharge are known (i.e., Cu, 137Cs, and 60Co), historical records of pollutant input can be reconstructed, provided redistribution through sediment mixing or early diagenetic processes is minimal. Where the pollutant has a range of sources (i.e., Pb) or where physical mixing in-estuary produces a time-integrated signal, it can prove extremely difficult to relate concentration depth profiles to discharge histories. Using concentration and stable Pb isotope data, the observed temporal input of Pb to these marshes is shown to reflect a complex, mixed marine/atmospheric input from regional (automobile emission) and local (urban/industrial) sources. While general trends in pollutant loading may still be observed, it is extremely difficult to reconstruct accurately temporal trends in Pb input and sources of Pb in these estuaries using salt marsh records due to the importance of local, poorly-defined Pb sources and in-estuary mixing processes.

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More information

Published date: 27 March 1997
Organisations: Geochemistry

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 399537
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/399537
ISSN: 0013-936X
PURE UUID: cc1dbc5e-8a0d-4339-8923-a488a866aa7c
ORCID for Andrew B. Cundy: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4368-2569

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 18 Aug 2016 10:39
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 12:21

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