Modern pollution signals in sediments from Windermere, NW England, determined by micro-XRF and lead isotope analysis

TitleModern pollution signals in sediments from Windermere, NW England, determined by micro-XRF and lead isotope analysis
Publication TypeUnpublished
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsMiller, H, Croudace, IW, Bull, JM, Cotterill, CJ, Dix, JK, Taylor, J
Secondary AuthorsCroudace, IW, Rothwell, G
Series TitleMicro-XRF Studies of Sediment Cores: Applications of a Non-destructive Tool for the Environmental Sciences: Part III
Pagination423–442
Date PublishedJuly
InstitutionSpringer
Abstract

High resolution geochemical (Itrax micro-XRF and wavelength dispersive XRF) data, radiochronology (210Pb and 137Cs analyses) and ultra-high precision double-spike lead isotope measurements from lacustrine sediment cores are used in combination with historical research of former mining landscapes to investigate modern pollution signals in sediments from Windermere, the largest lake in the English Lake District. The sediment record suggests that while most element concentrations have been stable, there has been a significant increase since the 1930s in lead, zinc and copper concentrations. Double-spike lead isotope measurements reveal a mixture of natural lead, and three major contributory sources of anthropogenic (industrial) lead, comprising gasoline lead, coal combustion lead (from coal-fired steam ships) and lead derived from Carboniferous Pb?Zn mineralisation (mining activities). A number of up-system sediment traps have limited the amount of mining related heavy metals entering Windermere, and as a result, periods of metal workings do not correlate with peaks in heavy metals. Increases could also be due to flood-induced metal inwash or weathering of bedrock in the catchment. Application of these non-destructive and high precision analytical techniques provides new insights into the pollutant depositional history of Windermere.

URLhttp://eprints.soton.ac.uk/380327/