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Open Access item Modelling Pb, Zn and As transfer from terrestrial to aquatic ecosystems during the ice-free season in three Pyrenean catchments

Authors:Bacardit, Montserrat
Camarero, Lluís
Keywords:Remobilisation of contaminants, Pyrenees, Long-range contamination, Trace element cycling, Mountain catchment, Contamination legacy
Issue Date:2010
Publisher:Elsevier
Citation:Science of the Total Environment 408 (23) : 5854-5861 (2010)
Abstract:Long-range atmospheric trace element contamination affecting natural systems has occurred since early historical times in the Northern Hemisphere. In relatively remote sites, soils are the largest reservoir of these airborne contaminants. Trace elements stored in soils can later be remobilised and thus soils are a potential delayed, long-lasting source of contamination for the aquaticecosystems. Here we measured the atmospheric deposition and in-lake fluxes in order to model the transfer of Pb, Zn and As from terrestrial to aquaticecosystems during the snow- and ice-freeseason in three mountain catchments in the Central Pyrenees. According to the model, there was a net export of Pb and As from the catchments. We postulate that accumulated anthropogenic Pb contamination and the weathering of As-rich rocks are the most likely sources. In contrast, Zn was largely retained in the catchment. For Pb and As, the terrestrial inputs were > 91% and for Zn were ~ 71% of the total inputs to the lakes. Nearly all Pb entering the lakes was retained in the sediments whereas 5–38% of As and Zn was lost through the outflow. We were unable to adjust the model for Zn for one of the lakes. The uptake by macrophytes could be a considerable sink for Zn, which was not considered in our transport model.
Description:8 páginas, 5 tablas, 2 figuras.
Publisher version (URL):http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.07.088
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10261/56276
ISSN:0048-9697
Appears in Collections:(CEAB) Artículos

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