Temporal evolution of lead isotope ratios in sediments of the Central Portuguese Margin: A fingerprint of human activities

  • Mil-Homens M
  • Caetano M
  • Costa A
 et al. 
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Abstract

Stable Pb isotope ratios (206Pb/207Pb,208Pb/206Pb),210Pb, Pb, Al, Ca, Fe, Mn and Si concentrations were measured in 7 sediment cores from the west coast of the Iberian Peninsula to assess the Pb contamination throughout the last 200years. Independently of their locations, all cores are characterized by increasing Pb/Al rends not related to grain-size changes. Conversely, decreasing trends of206Pb/207Pb were found towards the present. This tendency suggest a change in Pb sources reflecting an increased proportion derived from anthropogenic activities. The highest anthropogenic Pb inventories for sediments younger than 1950s were found in the two shallowest cores of Cascais and Lisboa submarine canyons, reflecting the proximity of the Tagus estuary. Lead isotope signatures also help demonstrate that sediments contaminated with Pb are not constrained to estuarine-coastal areas and upper parts of submarine canyons, but are also to transferred to a lesser extent to deeper parts of the Portuguese Margin. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Anthropogenic Pb enrichments
  • Central Portuguese Margin
  • Pb isotopes
  • Sediments
  • Submarine canyons
  • Temporal evolution

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