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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Applied GeochemistryApplied Geochemistry, Volume 37, p.102-116 (2013)



Accession Number:



bearing rock coatings, continental-crust, eastern canada, heavy-metals, igneous complex, marine-sediments, peat bogs, smelters, stratospheric aerosol, trace-elements


A lake sediment core from Vermillion Lake, Sudbury, Ontario was tightly sampled and analyzed for a wide range of trace elements as well as for Pb isotopes. The data resolve multiple historical events in the 140-a history of logging and mining in the Sudbury area in unprecedented detail. Lead-210 data, Cs-137 activity and historical information on the start of anthropogenic activities in the Sudbury area were combined to derive an age model for the sedimentary column. Using the age information, it is possible to identify sediment sections enriched and depleted in trace metal(loid)s, particularly Ni and Cu, the two most relevant metals in the Sudbury area. Maxima and minima in the chronology of Ni and Cu coincide well with local production values for both elements until environmental regulations in the 1990s resulted in a decrease in their emission and drainage into Vermillion Lake. Differences in the deposition rates of Ni and Cu, trace-metal distribution patterns throughout the sedimentary column, Pb-isotope data, and comparison with data for local rocks and ores in the Sudbury area were used to identify the sources of pollutants in the early and late periods of mining activities. In addition, the environmental impact on the sediment itself was also studied via the variation of water content and organic matter. Finally, a surficial Fe-Mn-enriched layer with elevated concentrations of the oxy-anions (PO4)(3-), (AsO4)(4-), and (MoO4)(2-) was identified. This can be distinguished from accumulation of Zn and an increase in the Y/Ho ratio in the upper core sections, which likely imply increasing drainage of fertilizers into the Vermillion River watershed. The chemistry, mineralogy, and isotope composition of the Vermillion Lake sediment column thus contain a very detailed >140-a account of initial severe anthropogenic disturbance, the efforts of remediation and the effects of changing land use towards agricultural and recreational activities. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


211vw<br/>Times Cited:9<br/>Cited References Count:74