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1.
Sci Total Environ ; 802: 149542, 2022 Jan 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34454138

RESUMO

The alpine area of the Australian mainland is highly sensitive to climate and environmental change, and potentially vulnerable to ecosystem tipping points. Over the next two decades the Australian alpine region is predicted to experience temperature increases of at least 1 °C, coupled with a substantial decrease in snow cover. Extending the short instrumental record in these regions is imperative to put future change into context, and potentially provide analogues of warming. We reconstructed past temperatures, using a lipid biomarker palaeothermometer technique and mercury flux changes for the past 3500 years from the sediments of Club Lake, a high-altitude alpine tarn in the Snowy Mountains, southeastern Australia. Using a multi-proxy framework, including pollen and charcoal analyses, high-resolution geochemistry, and ancient microbial community composition, supported by high-resolution 210Pb and AMS 14C dating, we investigated local and regional ecological and environmental changes occurring in response to changes in temperature. We find the region experienced a general warming trend over the last 3500 years, with a pronounced climate anomaly occurring between 1000 and 1600 cal yrs. BP. Shifts in vegetation took place during this warm period, characterised by a decline in alpine species and an increase in open woodland taxa which co-occurred with an increase in regional fire activity. Given the narrow altitudinal band of Australian alpine vegetation, any future warming has the potential to result in the extinction of alpine species, including several endemic to the area, as treelines are driven to higher elevations. These findings suggest ongoing conservation efforts will be needed to protect the vulnerable alpine environments from the combined threats of climate changes, fire and invasive species.


Assuntos
Ecossistema , Incêndios , Austrália , Mudança Climática , Florestas
3.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(40)2021 10 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34580209

RESUMO

The impacts of human-induced environmental change that characterize the Anthropocene are not felt equally across the globe. In the tropics, the potential for the sudden collapse of ecosystems in response to multiple interacting pressures has been of increasing concern in ecological and conservation research. The tropical ecosystems of Papua New Guinea are areas of diverse rainforest flora and fauna, inhabited by human populations that are equally diverse, both culturally and linguistically. These people and the ecosystems they rely on are being put under increasing pressure from mineral resource extraction, population growth, land clearing, invasive species, and novel pollutants. This study details the last ∼90 y of impacts on ecosystem dynamics in one of the most biologically diverse, yet poorly understood, tropical wetland ecosystems of the region. The lake is listed as a Ramsar wetland of international importance, yet, since initial European contact in the 1930s and the opening of mineral resource extraction facilities in the 1990s, there has been a dramatic increase in deforestation and an influx of people to the area. Using multiproxy paleoenvironmental records from lake sediments, we show how these anthropogenic impacts have transformed Lake Kutubu. The recent collapse of algal communities represents an ecological tipping point that is likely to have ongoing repercussions for this important wetland's ecosystems. We argue that the incorporation of an adequate historical perspective into models for wetland management and conservation is critical in understanding how to mitigate the impacts of ecological catastrophes such as biodiversity loss.


Assuntos
Áreas Alagadas , Mudança Climática , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Monitoramento Ambiental/métodos , Sedimentos Geológicos/química , Humanos , Papua Nova Guiné
4.
Environ Pollut ; 287: 117596, 2021 Oct 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34426387

RESUMO

Despite Australia's high reliance on coal for electricity generation, no study has addressed the extent to which mercury (Hg) deposition has increased since the commissioning of coal-fired power plants. We present stratigraphic data from lake sediments in the Hunter Valley (New South Wales) and Latrobe Valley (Victoria), where a significant proportion of Australia's electricity is generated via coal combustion. Mercury deposition in lake sediments increased in the 1970s with the commissioning of coal-fired power plants, by a factor of 2.9-times in sediments of Lake Glenbawn (Hunter Valley) and 14-times in Traralgon Reservoir (Latrobe Valley). Sediments deposited after the commissioning of power plants have distinct Hg isotope compositions, similar to those of combusted coals. Mercury emission, estimated using an atmospheric model (CALPUFF), was higher in the Latrobe Valley than in the Hunter Valley. This is a result of higher Hg concentrations in lignite coal, lax regulation and older pollution-control technologies adopted by coal-fired power plants in the Latrobe Valley. Near-source deposition of Hg in Australia is significantly higher than North America and Europe, where better emission controls (e.g. wet flue gas desulfurization) have been in effect for decades. The challenge for Australia in years to come will be to ratify the Minamata Convention and develop better regulation policies to reduce Hg emissions.


Assuntos
Poluentes Atmosféricos , Mercúrio , Poluentes Atmosféricos/análise , Carvão Mineral/análise , Cinza de Carvão/análise , Monitoramento Ambiental , Mercúrio/análise , Centrais Elétricas , Vitória
5.
Sci Total Environ ; 728: 137398, 2020 Aug 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32371267

RESUMO

The Hunter and Latrobe Valleys have two of the richest coal deposits in Australia. They also host the largest coal-fired power stations in the country. We reconstructed metal deposition records in lake sediments in the Hunter and Latrobe Valleys to determine if metal deposition in freshwater lakes have increased in the region. The current regulatory arrangement applied to metal emissions from coal-fired power stations in Australia are presented, discussing their capacity to address future increases in metal deposition from these sources. Sediment records of spheroidal carbonaceous particles (SCPs), a component of fly-ash, were also used as an additional line of evidence to identify the contribution of industrial activities related to electricity generation to metal deposition in regions surrounding open-cut coal mines and coal-fired power stations. Sediment metal concentrations and SCP counts in the sedimentary records, from the Hunter and Latrobe Valleys, both indicated that open-cut coal mining and the subsequent combustion of coal in power stations has most likely resulted in an increase in atmospheric deposition of metals in the local region. In particular, the metalloids As and Se showed the greatest enrichment compared to before coal mining commenced. Although the introduction of bag filters at Liddell Power Station and the decommissioning of Hazelwood Power Station appear to have resulted in a decrease of metal deposition in nearby lakes, overall metal deposition in the environment is still increasing. The challenge for the years to come will be to develop better regulation policies and tools that will contribute to reduce metal emissions in these major electricity production centres in Australia.

6.
Sci Rep ; 10(1): 4149, 2020 03 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32139743

RESUMO

Following recent tsunamis, most studies have focused on the onshore deposits, while the offshore backwash deposits, crucial for a better understanding of the hydrodynamic processes during such events and offering an opportunity for sedimentary archives of past tsunamis, have mostly been omitted. Here, we present a unique sedimentary record of the backwash from two historical tsunamis sampled in a sheltered bay in American Samoa, namely the 2009 South Pacific Tsunami and the 1960 Great Chilean Earthquake Tsunami. Although not always concomitant with a marked grain size change, backwash deposits are identified by terrestrial geochemical and mineralogical signatures, associated with basal soft sediment micro-deformations. These micro-deformations, including asymmetric flame structures, are described for the first time in historic shallow marine backwash deposits and lead us to propose an improved depositional mechanism for tsunami backflow based on hyperpycnal currents. Moreover, this study brings a potential new criterion to the proxy toolkit for identifying tsunami backwash deposits, namely the basal soft sediment micro-deformations. We suggest that further studies focus on these micro-deformations in order to test the representability of this criterion for tsunami backwash deposits. Sheltered shallow marine environments in areas repeatedly impacted by tsunamis have a higher potential for the reconstruction of paleo-tsunami catalogs and should be preferentially investigated for coastal risk assessment.

7.
Sci Total Environ ; 672: 427-437, 2019 Jul 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30965258

RESUMO

Tidal marsh ecosystems are among earth's most efficient natural organic carbon (C) sinks and provide myriad ecosystem services. However, approximately half have been 'reclaimed' - i.e. converted to other land uses - potentially turning them into sources of greenhouse gas emissions. In this study, we applied C stock measurements and paleoanalytical techniques to sediments from reclaimed and intact tidal marshes in southeast Australia. We aimed to assess the impacts of reclamation on: 1) the magnitude of existing sediment C stocks; 2) ongoing C sequestration and storage; and 3) C quality. Differences in sediment horizon depths (indicated by Itrax-XRF scanning) and ages (indicated by lead-210 and radiocarbon dating) suggest a physical loss of sediments following reclamation, as well as slowing of sediment accumulation rates. Sediments at one meter depth were between ~2000 and ~5300 years older in reclaimed cores compared to intact marsh cores. We estimate a 70% loss of sediment C in reclaimed sites (equal to 73 Mg C ha-1), relative to stocks in intact tidal marshes during a comparable time period. Following reclamation, sediment C was characterized by coarse particulate organic matter with lower alkyl-o-alkyl ratios and higher amounts of aromatic C, suggesting a lower extent of decomposition and therefore lower likelihood of being incorporated into long-term C stocks compared to that of intact tidal marshes. We conclude that reclamation of tidal marshes can diminish C stocks that have accumulated over millennial time scales, and these losses may go undetected if additional analyses are not employed in conjunction with C stock estimates.

8.
Glob Chang Biol ; 25(6): 2030-2042, 2019 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30912234

RESUMO

Climate change is affecting the distribution of species and the functioning of ecosystems. For species that are slow growing and poorly dispersed, climate change can force a lag between the distributions of species and the geographic distributions of their climatic envelopes, exposing species to the risk of extinction. Climate also governs the resilience of species and ecosystems to disturbance, such as wildfire. Here we use species distribution modelling and palaeoecology to assess and test the impact of vegetation-climate disequilibrium on the resilience of an endangered fire-sensitive rainforest community to fires. First, we modelled the probability of occurrence of Athrotaxis spp. and Nothofagus gunnii rainforest in Tasmania (hereon "montane rainforest") as a function of climate. We then analysed three pollen and charcoal records spanning the last 7,500 cal year BP from within both high (n = 1) and low (n = 2) probability of occurrence areas. Our study indicates that climatic change between 3,000 and 4,000 cal year bp induced a disequilibrium between montane rainforests and climate that drove a loss of resilience of these communities. Current and future climate change are likely to shift the geographic distribution of the climatic envelopes of this plant community further, suggesting that current high-resilience locations will face a reduction in resilience. Coupled with the forecast of increasing fire activity in southern temperate regions, this heralds a significant threat to this and other slow growing, poorly dispersed and fire sensitive forest systems that are common in the southern mid to high latitudes.


Assuntos
Mudança Climática , Incêndios , Floresta Úmida , Cupressaceae , Ecossistema , Fagaceae , Tasmânia
9.
Nature ; 567(7746): 91-95, 2019 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30842636

RESUMO

Coastal wetlands (mangrove, tidal marsh and seagrass) sustain the highest rates of carbon sequestration per unit area of all natural systems1,2, primarily because of their comparatively high productivity and preservation of organic carbon within sedimentary substrates3. Climate change and associated relative sea-level rise (RSLR) have been proposed to increase the rate of organic-carbon burial in coastal wetlands in the first half of the twenty-first century4, but these carbon-climate feedback effects have been modelled to diminish over time as wetlands are increasingly submerged and carbon stores become compromised by erosion4,5. Here we show that tidal marshes on coastlines that experienced rapid RSLR over the past few millennia (in the late Holocene, from about 4,200 years ago to the present) have on average 1.7 to 3.7 times higher soil carbon concentrations within 20 centimetres of the surface than those subject to a long period of sea-level stability. This disparity increases with depth, with soil carbon concentrations reduced by a factor of 4.9 to 9.1 at depths of 50 to 100 centimetres. We analyse the response of a wetland exposed to recent rapid RSLR following subsidence associated with pillar collapse in an underlying mine and demonstrate that the gain in carbon accumulation and elevation is proportional to the accommodation space (that is, the space available for mineral and organic material accumulation) created by RSLR. Our results suggest that coastal wetlands characteristic of tectonically stable coastlines have lower carbon storage owing to a lack of accommodation space and that carbon sequestration increases according to the vertical and lateral accommodation space6 created by RSLR. Such wetlands will provide long-term mitigating feedback effects that are relevant to global climate-carbon modelling.


Assuntos
Sequestro de Carbono , Carbono/metabolismo , Água do Mar/análise , Áreas Alagadas , Carbono/análise , Sedimentos Geológicos/química , História Antiga , Oceanos e Mares
10.
Sci Total Environ ; 656: 250-260, 2019 Mar 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30504025

RESUMO

This study investigated metal contamination from historical mining in lakes in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) and surrounding region. The largest increase in sedimentation and metal contamination occurred ca. 1930 when open-cut mining commenced and new mining technology was introduced into the region. The geochemical signal of lake sediments changed from reflecting the underlying geology and lithology to that reflecting mining activities. The HYSPLIT air particle trajectory model explains metal distribution in the lakes, with those in the northwest region closest to the mines having the highest metal contamination. Lake metal concentrations since mining activities commenced are in the order: Owen Tarn > Basin Lake > Perched Lake > Lake Dove > Lake Dobson > Lake Cygnus, with Perched Lake and Lakes Dove, Dobson and Cygnus in the TWWHA. Metal contamination affected centres up to 130 km down-wind of mining sites. Enrichment factors (EF) for Pb, Cu, As and Cd are >1 for all lakes, with Owen Tarn and Basin Lake having very high EFs for Cu and Pb (98 and 91, respectively). Pb, Cu, As and Cd concentrations are above the Australia/New Zealand lower sediment guidelines, with Pb, Cu and As above the high guidelines in Owen Tarn and Basin Lake. This study demonstrated the legacy of metal contamination in the TWWHA by mining activities and the consequences of a lack of execution of environmental regulations by past governments in Tasmania.

11.
J Environ Radioact ; 178-179: 411-418, 2017 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28689881

RESUMO

The National Health and Medical Research Council and Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council of Australia developed the current Australian Drinking Water Guidelines which recommend an annual radiation dose value of 1 mSv year-1. One of the potential major contributors to the radiation dose from drinking water is radium-228, a naturally occurring radionuclide arising from the thorium decay series. Various methods of analysing for radium-228 in water have been established and adapted by analytical radiochemistry laboratories. Seven laboratories in Australia participated in analysing radium-228 spiked water samples with activity concentrations ranging from 6 mBq L-1 to 20 Bq L-1. The aim of the exercise was to compare and evaluate radium-228 results reported by the participating laboratories, the methods used and the detection limits. This paper presents the outcome of the exercise.


Assuntos
Laboratórios/estatística & dados numéricos , Monitoramento de Radiação , Rádio (Elemento)/análise , Poluentes Radioativos da Água/análise , Austrália
12.
Water Res ; 105: 34-46, 2016 Nov 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27596701

RESUMO

When designing mitigation and restoration strategies for aquatic systems affected by heavy metal contamination, we must first understand the sources of these pollutants. In this study, we introduce a methodology that identifies the heavy metal levels in floodplain lake sediments deposited by one source; fluvial floods. This is done by comparing sediment core heavy metal profiles (i.e., historical pollution trends) to physical and chemical properties of sediments in these cores (i.e., historical flooding trends). This methodology is applied to Willsmere and Bolin Billabongs, two urban floodplain lakes (billabongs) of the Yarra River (South-East Australia). Both billabongs are periodically inundated by flooding of the Yarra River and one billabong (Willsmere Billabong) is connected to an urban stormwater drainage network. 1-2-m long sediment cores (containing sediment deposits up to 500 years old) were taken from the billabongs and analysed for heavy metal concentrations (arsenic, chromium, copper, lead, nickel, zinc). In cores from both billabongs, arsenic concentrations are high in the flood-borne sediments. In Bolin Billabong, absolute metal levels are similar in flood and non-flood deposits. In Willsmere Billabong, absolute copper, lead and zinc levels were generally lower in fluvial flood-borne sediments in the core compared to non-fluvial sediments. This suggests that heavy metal concentrations in Bolin Billabong sediments are relatively similar regardless of whether or not fluvial flooding is occurring. However for Willsmere Billabong, heavy metal concentrations are high when overland runoff, direct urban stormwater discharges or atmospheric deposition is occurring. As such, reducing the heavy metal concentrations in these transport pathways will be of great importance when trying to reduce heavy metal concentrations in Willsmere Billabong sediments. This study presents a proof-of-concept that can be applied to other polluted aquatic systems, to understand the importance of river floods in the contamination of the bed sediments of aquatic systems. As a cost effective and less time consuming alternative to extensive field monitoring, our proposed method can be used to identify the key sources of pollution and therefore support the development of effective management strategies.


Assuntos
Monitoramento Ambiental , Sedimentos Geológicos/química , Metais Pesados , Rios/química , Poluentes Químicos da Água
13.
Sci Total Environ ; 544: 1008-19, 2016 Feb 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26779954

RESUMO

Anthropogenic activities are contributing to the changing hydrology of rivers, often resulting in their degradation. Understanding the drivers and nature of these changes is critical for the design and implementation of effective mitigation strategies for these systems. However, this can be hindered by gaps in historical measured flow data. This study therefore aims to use sediment cores to identify historical hydrological changes within a river catchment. Sediment cores from two floodplain lakes (billabongs) in the urbanised Yarra River catchment (Melbourne, South-East Australia) were collected and high resolution images, trends in magnetic susceptibility and trends in elemental composition through the sedimentary records were obtained. These were used to infer historical changes in river hydrology to determine both average trends in hydrology (i.e., coarse temporal resolution) as well as discrete flood layers in the sediment cores (i.e., fine temporal resolution). Through the 20th century, both billabongs became increasingly disconnected from the river, as demonstrated by the decreasing trends in magnetic susceptibility, particle size and inorganic matter in the cores. Additionally the number of discrete flood layers decreased up the cores. These reconstructed trends correlate with measured flow records of the river through the 20th century, which validates the methodology that has been used in this study. Not only does this study provide evidence on how natural catchments can be affected by land-use intensification and urbanisation, but it also introduces a general analytical framework that could be applied to other river systems to assist in the design of hydrological management strategies.

14.
Chemosphere ; 148: 369-79, 2016 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26826474

RESUMO

Lake Kutubu, a large tropical lake in Papua New Guinea, is well known for its ecological importance; however, there have been recent changes to the pristine nature of this lake due to activities associated with the largest oil and gas project in PNG. The aim of this study was to determine the geochemical profile of sediment cores of Lake Kutubu and to comprehend the contamination changes undergone in this lake due to mining activities utilising the hydraulic fracturing method. Sediment core profiles of Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, Ca, Ti, Cr, Fe, Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Sr, Cd, Ba, Ce, Pb and U, grain size and dating analyses were conducted for five sites in the lake. Grain size and dating demonstrated that the northwest side of Lake Kutubu has sediments of allocthonous origin while the southeast sediments are of autochthonous origin. Ba was the element with the largest changes in concentrations since 1990 and the best tracer of mining activities near the lake. Sites KTB 02 and KTB 10 northwest of the lake showed the most distinct changes in element concentrations. Element enrichment factors (EF = 2.8, 4.2 and 3.2 respectively) demonstrated that Mn, Se and Ba have undergone a moderate enrichment in the lake since mining activities started. Ni, Cd and Se concentrations exceed sediment guidelines in some samples. No guideline is available for Ba, and special attention should be given to this element in this lake. This study demonstrated that Lake Kutubu oil/gas extraction activities are significant sources of elements to this lake and highlights the need for studies on the partitioning and speciation of elements to understand organism metal exposure.


Assuntos
Monitoramento Ambiental/métodos , Sedimentos Geológicos/química , Fraturamento Hidráulico , Lagos/química , Indústria de Petróleo e Gás , Poluentes Químicos da Água/análise , Bário/análise , Humanos , Papua Nova Guiné , Propriedades de Superfície , Oligoelementos/análise
15.
Glob Chang Biol ; 22(3): 1097-109, 2016 Mar.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26670941

RESUMO

Shifts in ecosystem structure have been observed over recent decades as woody plants encroach upon grasslands and wetlands globally. The migration of mangrove forests into salt marsh ecosystems is one such shift which could have important implications for global 'blue carbon' stocks. To date, attempts to quantify changes in ecosystem function are essentially constrained to climate-mediated pulses (30 years or less) of encroachment occurring at the thermal limits of mangroves. In this study, we track the continuous, lateral encroachment of mangroves into two south-eastern Australian salt marshes over a period of 70 years and quantify corresponding changes in biomass and belowground C stores. Substantial increases in biomass and belowground C stores have resulted as mangroves replaced salt marsh at both marine and estuarine sites. After 30 years, aboveground biomass was significantly higher than salt marsh, with biomass continuing to increase with mangrove age. Biomass increased at the mesohaline river site by 130 ± 18 Mg biomass km(-2)  yr(-1) (mean ± SE), a 2.5 times higher rate than the marine embayment site (52 ± 10 Mg biomass km(-2) yr(-1) ), suggesting local constraints on biomass production. At both sites, and across all vegetation categories, belowground C considerably outweighed aboveground biomass stocks, with belowground C stocks increasing at up to 230 ± 62 Mg C km(-2) yr(-1) (± SE) as mangrove forests developed. Over the past 70 years, we estimate mangrove encroachment may have already enhanced intertidal biomass by up to 283 097 Mg and belowground C stocks by over 500 000 Mg in the state of New South Wales alone. Under changing climatic conditions and rising sea levels, global blue carbon storage may be enhanced as mangrove encroachment becomes more widespread, thereby countering global warming.


Assuntos
Sequestro de Carbono , Mudança Climática , Áreas Alagadas , Biomassa , Sedimentos Geológicos/análise , Aquecimento Global , New South Wales , Salinidade , Fatores de Tempo
16.
Chemosphere ; 119: 377-386, 2015 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25061943

RESUMO

Lake Illawarra has a long history of sediment contamination, particularly by metals, as a result of past and current industrial operations and land uses within the catchment. In this study, we examined the history of metal contamination in sediments using metal analysis and (210)Pb and (137)Cs dating. The distributions of copper, zinc, arsenic, selenium, cadmium and lead concentrations within sediment cores were in agreement with historical events in the lake, and indicated that metal contamination had been occurring since the start of industrial activities in Port Kembla in the late 1800 s. Most metal contamination, however, has occurred since the 1960s. Sedimentation rates were found to be 0.2 cm year(-1) in Griffins Bay and 0.3 cm year(-1) in the centre of the lake. Inputs from creeks bringing metals from Port Kembla in the northeast of the lake and a copper slag emplacement from a former copper refinery on the Windang Peninsula were the main sources of metal inputs to Lake Illawarra. The metals of highest concern were zinc and copper, which exceeded the Australian and New Zealand sediment quality guideline values at some sites. Results showed that while historical contamination persists, current management practices have resulted in reduced metal concentrations in surface sediments in the depositional zones in the centre of the lake.


Assuntos
Arsênio/análise , Lagos/química , Metais Pesados/análise , Poluentes Químicos da Água/análise , Radioisótopos de Césio , Monitoramento Ambiental , Sedimentos Geológicos/análise , Radioisótopos de Chumbo , New South Wales
17.
Sci Total Environ ; 505: 962-80, 2015 Feb 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25461097

RESUMO

Industrial metals are now ubiquitous within the atmosphere and their deposition represents a potential source of contamination to surficial environments. Few studies, however, have examined the environmental fate of atmospheric industrial metals within different surface environments. In this study, patterns of accumulation of atmospherically transported industrial metals were investigated within the surface environments of the Snowy Mountains, Australia. Metals, including Pb, Sb, Cr and Mo, were enriched in aerosols collected in the Snowy Mountains by 3.5-50 times pre-industrial concentrations. In sedimentary environments (soils, lakes and reservoirs) metals showed varying degrees of enrichment. Differences were attributed to the relative degree of atmospheric input, metal sensitivity to enrichment, catchment area and metal behaviour following deposition. In settings where atmospheric deposition dominated (ombrotrophic peat mires in the upper parts of catchments), metal enrichment patterns most closely resembled those in collected aerosols. However, even in these environments significant dilution (by 5-7 times) occurred. The most sensitive industrial metals (those with the lowest natural concentration; Cd, Ag, Sb and Mo) were enriched throughout the studied environments. However, in alpine tarn-lakes no other metals were enriched, due to the dilution of pollutant-metals by catchment derived sediment. In reservoirs, which were located lower within catchments, industrial metals exhibited more complex patterns. Particle reactive metals (e.g. Pb) displayed little enrichment, implying that they were retained up catchment, whereas more soluble metals (e.g., Cu and Zn) showed evidence of concentration. These same metals (Cu and Zn) were depleted in soils, implying that they are preferentially transported through catchments. Enrichment of other metals (e.g. Cd) varied between reservoirs as a function of contributing catchment area. Overall this study showed that the fate of atmospherically derived metals is complex, and depends upon metal behaviour and geomorphic processes operating at landscape scales.


Assuntos
Poluentes Atmosféricos/análise , Monitoramento Ambiental/métodos , Metais/análise , Atmosfera/química , Austrália , Sedimentos Geológicos/química , Indústrias/estatística & dados numéricos , Lagos/química , Solo/química
18.
Sci Total Environ ; 490: 659-70, 2014 Aug 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24887193

RESUMO

This study assessed historical changes in metal concentrations in sediments of southern Lake Macquarie resulting from the activities of coal-fired power stations, using a multi-proxy approach which combines (210)Pb, (137)Cs and metal concentrations in sediment cores. Metal concentrations in the lake were on average, Zn: 67 mg/kg, Cu: 15 mg/kg, As: 8 mg/kg, Se: 2mg/kg, Cd: 1.5 mg/kg, Pb: 8 mg/kg with a maximum of Zn: 280 mg/kg, Cu: 80 mg/kg, As: 21 mg/kg, Se: 5 mg/kg, Cd: 4 mg/kg, Pb: 48 mg/kg. The ratios of measured concentrations in sediment cores to their sediment guidelines were Cd 1.8, As 1.0, Cu 0.5, Pb 0.2 and Zn 0.2, with the highest concern being for cadmium. Of special interest was assessment of the effects of changes in ash handling procedures by the Vales Point power station on the metal concentrations in the sediments. Comparing sediment layers before and after ash handling procedures were implemented, zinc concentrations have decreased 10%, arsenic 37%, selenium 20%, cadmium 38% and lead 14%. An analysis of contaminant depth profiles showed that, after implementation of new ash handling procedures in 1995, selenium and cadmium, the main contaminants in Australian black coal had decreased significantly in this estuary.


Assuntos
Carvão Mineral , Sedimentos Geológicos/química , Metais/análise , Poluentes Químicos da Água/análise , Poluição Química da Água/prevenção & controle , Austrália , Monitoramento Ambiental , Lagos/química , Centrais Elétricas , Poluição Química da Água/estatística & dados numéricos
19.
Sci Total Environ ; 468-469: 774-84, 2014 Jan 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24076501

RESUMO

Climate change is impacting global surface water resources, increasing the need for a deeper understanding of the interaction between climate and biological diversity. This is particularly the case in the Southern Hemisphere sub-tropics, where little information exists on the aquatic biota response to climate variations. Palaeolimnological techniques, in particular the use of diatoms, are well established and can significantly contribute to the understanding of climatic variability and the impacts that change in climate have on aquatic ecosystems. A sediment core from Lake McKenzie, Fraser Island (Australia), was used to investigate interactions between climate influences and aquatic ecosystems. This study utilises a combination of proxies including biological (diatom), geochemical and chronological techniques to investigate long-term aquatic changes within the perched-dune lake. A combination of (210)Pb and AMS (14)C dates showed that the retrieved sediment represented a history of ca. 37,000 cal.yBP. The sedimentation rate in Lake McKenzie is very low, ranging on average from 0.11 mm to 0.26 mm per year. A sediment hiatus was observed between ca. 18,300 and 14,000 cal.yBP suggesting a period of dry conditions at the site. The diatom record shows little variability over the period of record, with benthic, freshwater acidic tolerant species dominating. Relative abundance of planktonic species and geochemical results indicates a period of increased water depth and lake productivity in the early Holocene and a gradual decrease in effective precipitation throughout the Holocene. Results from this study not only support earlier work conducted on Fraser Island using pollen reconstructions but also demonstrate that diatom community diversity has been relatively consistent throughout the Holocene and late Pleistocene with only minor cyclical fluctuation evident. This record is consistent with the few other aquatic palaeoecological records from the Southern Hemisphere sub-tropics.


Assuntos
Mudança Climática/história , Diatomáceas/fisiologia , Sedimentos Geológicos/química , Sedimentos Geológicos/microbiologia , Radioisótopos de Carbono/análise , História Antiga , Radioisótopos de Chumbo/análise , Espectrometria de Massas , Paleontologia , Dinâmica Populacional , Queensland
20.
Environ Sci Technol ; 47(23): 13284-93, 2013.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24256473

RESUMO

Radioactive waste containing a few grams of plutonium (Pu) was disposed between 1960 and 1968 in trenches at the Little Forest Burial Ground (LFBG), near Sydney, Australia. A water sampling point installed in a former trench has enabled the radionuclide content of trench water and the response of the water level to rainfall to be studied. The trench water contains readily measurable Pu activity (~12 Bq/L of (239+240)Pu in 0.45 µm-filtered water), and there is an associated contamination of Pu in surface soils. The highest (239+240)Pu soil activity was 829 Bq/kg in a shallow sample (0-1 cm depth) near the trench sampling point. Away from the trenches, the elevated concentrations of Pu in surface soils extend for tens of meters down-slope. The broader contamination may be partly attributable to dispersion events in the first decade after disposal, after which a layer of soil was added above the trenched area. Since this time, further Pu contamination has occurred near the trench-sampler within this added layer. The water level in the trench-sampler responds quickly to rainfall and intermittently reaches the surface, hence the Pu dispersion is attributed to saturation and overflow of the trenches during extreme rainfall events, referred to as the 'bathtub' effect.


Assuntos
Monitoramento Ambiental/estatística & dados numéricos , Locais de Resíduos Perigosos/estatística & dados numéricos , Plutônio/análise , Resíduos Radioativos/análise , Poluentes Radioativos do Solo/análise , Poluentes Radioativos da Água/análise , Monitoramento Ambiental/métodos , New South Wales , Contagem de Cintilação
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