Aquatic environment

One century sedimentary record of lead and zinc pollution in Yangzong Lake, a highland lake in southwestern China

Enlou Zhang , Enfeng Liu , Ji Shen , Yanmin Cao , Yanling Li


Received August 17, 2011,Revised December 26, 2011, Accepted , Available online July 08, 2012

Volume 24,2012,Pages 1189-1196

Reconstruction of trace metal pollution histories and sources may help us to regulate current pollutant discharge. This is especially important for the highland lakes in southwestern China, which are facing trace metals pollution. We present sedimentary records of 11 metals accumulated in Yangzong Lake since the 1870's, a highland lake in southwestern China. Pollution of lead and zinc (Pb and Zn) was differentiated based on principal component analysis, geochemical normalization, and lead isotope ratios. Nearly all the metals as well as grain size composition show generally constant values before the mid-1980's, denoting stable detrital input in the catchment. Fluctuations in the concentrations of the metals as well as grain size composition since the mid-1980's indicate an increase in soil erosion with strengthened human disturbance in the catchment. After geochemical normalization, Pb and Zn showed constant values before 1990 AD and then a gradual increase in parallel with the variations in 208Pb/206Pb and 207Pb/206Pb ratios, indicating that Pb and Zn pollution occurred. Combining the data of 208Pb/206Pb and 207Pb/206Pb ratios in the sediments of Yangzong Lake, leaded gasoline, Pb-Zn ore and coal, and consumption or production historical trends, we deduced that the enhanced Pb and Zn pollution in Yangzong Lake is caused primarily by ore mining and refining.

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