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Spatiotemporal reconstruction of lead contamination using tree rings and organic soil layers.

Aznar, Jean-Christophe; Richer-Laflèche, Marc; Bégin, Christian; Rodrigue, Rachel (2008). Spatiotemporal reconstruction of lead contamination using tree rings and organic soil layers. Science of The Total Environment , vol. 407 , nº 1. p. 233-241. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2008.09.044.

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Résumé

An atmospheric dispersion model predicting ground-level concentrations from a point source of metal emissions (Murdochville smelter) was calibrated on tree rings in black spruce (Picea mariana Mill. B.S.P.) in order to reconstruct the spatial and temporal Pb-contamination pattern in the Gaspé Peninsula (Canada). Model predictions were validated with forest-floor Pb concentrations that resulted from accumulation of this element over the years and that provide a robust spatial-deposition pattern. Atmospheric emission records were also used to verify the good agreement between the smelter emissions and the temporal-information pattern present in tree rings. Tree rings that formed during the period of smelter emissions exhibited Pb concentrations that correlated with those measured in humus. Temporal variability in tree-ring concentrations was closely associated with the smelter emissions, suggesting that black spruce trees were able to record Pb pollution from a point source. However, a time gap of at least 15 years must be considered between the emissions and the actual uptake and incorporation of Pb in the tree rings. A decrease in the level of contamination in the area was associated with the decrease in smelting activities, suggesting a natural resilience of the forest ecosystems to the contamination. This study highlights the strong potential for combining dendrochemical, soil, and modeling approaches in environmental research.

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: contamination dynamic; environmental risk; Murdochville; smelter; tree rings; humus
Centre: Centre Eau Terre Environnement
Date de dépôt: 08 janv. 2021 16:05
Dernière modification: 08 janv. 2021 16:05
URI: http://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/10882

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