, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 95-107

Reconstructing 20thcentury lead pollution andsediment focusing in a peat land pool (Kempen, Belgium), via 210Pbdating

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Abstract

Pb-210 dating of two metal-polluted organic sedimentcores obtained near a former pyrometallurgical zinc smelter in Lommel, Belgiumhave been used to reconstruct atmospheric lead deposition rates during the20th century. Independent knowledge concerning historical pollutionevents and 137Cs fall-out profiles has allowed a criticalevaluation of the CRS, CIC and CF-CS models for the 210Pb ageinterpretation. Resulting ages for the three models suggest that, in this case,the CIC model gives the most accurate interpretation of historical pollutionevents and atmospheric lead fall-out. The 210Pbwater-sediment flux was estimated at 141–1158Bq·m−2·yr−1 for one site and62–106 Bq·m−2·yr−1 at theother site, during the last century. The large difference illustrates thatsediment focusing was important on a small spatial scale (10 m).The direction of focusing correlates with the predominant wind direction.Maximum atmospheric lead deposition rates were found to be 1.63 ± 0.59g·m−2·yr−1 around 1968 AD,which is 2 orders of magnitude larger than the Belgian average in 1980 AD, and5 orders larger than Holocene atmospheric lead deposition.