Advertisement

Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 5501–5513 | Cite as

Tracking long-distance atmospheric deposition of trace metal emissions from smelters in the upper Columbia River valley using Pb isotope analysis of lake sediments

  • Andrew Wright Child
  • Barry C. Moore
  • Jeffrey D. Vervoort
  • Marc W. Beutel
Research Article

Abstract

Heavy metal discharge from mining and smelting operations into aquatic ecosystems can cause long-term biological and ecological impacts. The upper Columbia River is highly contaminated with heavy metal wastes from nearby smelting operations in Trail, British Columbia, Canada, and to a lesser extent, Northport (Le Roi smelter), Washington, USA. Airborne emissions from the Trail operations were historically and are currently transported by prevailing winds down the Columbia River canyon, where particulate metals can be deposited into lakes and watersheds. In lakes, sediment cores contain records of past environmental conditions, providing a timeline of fundamental chemical and biological relationships within aquatic ecosystems, including records of airborne metal depositions. We analyzed trace metal concentrations (Ni, Cd, Zn, As, Cu, Sb, Pb, Hg) and Pb isotope compositions of sediment cores from six remote eastern Washington lakes to assess potential sources of atmospheric heavy metal deposition. Sediment cores displayed evidence to support trace metal loading as a direct consequence of smelting operations in Trail. Smelter contamination was detected 144 km downwind of the Trail Smelter. Cd, Sb, Pb (p < 0.001), and to a lesser extent As and Hg (p < 0.05) concentrations were correlated with Pb isotope compositions, suggesting that the Trail operations were likely the main source for these trace metals.

Keywords

Pb isotopes Smelter pollution Heavy metal deposition Paleolimnology Lake Sediment 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank Charles Knaack and Diane Wilford from the Radiogenic Isotope and Geochronology Laboratory for their help developing methods and aiding in the processing of our samples. Finally, we thank the anonymous reviewers who greatly improved this manuscript.

Supplementary material

11356_2017_914_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (36 kb)
Supplemental Table 1 (XLSX 36.2 kb)
11356_2017_914_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (78 kb)
Supplemental Table 2 (XLSX 77 kb)

References

  1. Appleby PG, Oldfield F (1978) The calculation of lead-210 dates assuming a constant rate of supply of unsupported 210Pb to the sediment. Catena 5(1):1–8.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0341-8162(78)80002-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bollhofer A, Rosman KJR (2001) Isotopic source signatures for atmospheric lead: the northern hemisphere. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 65(11):1727–1740.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0016-7037(00)00630-X CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Callender E, Van Metre PC (1997) Reservoir sediment cores show U.S. lead declines. Environ sci & Technol 31:424–428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cannon RS, Pierce AP, Antweiler JA, Buck KL (1962) Lead isotope studies in the northern Rockies, USA. In: Engel AEJ, James HL, Leonard BF (eds) Petrologic studies: a volume in honor of AF Buddington. Geological Society of America, Boulder, pp 115–131Google Scholar
  5. Chow TJ, Johnstone MS (1965) Lead isotopes in gasoline and aerosols of Los Angeles basin, California. Science 147(3657):502–503.  https://doi.org/10.1126/science.147.3657.502 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Church SE (2010) Lead isotope database of unpublished results from sulfide mineral occurrences—California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. United States Geological Survey, Report 2010–1157Google Scholar
  7. Cohen AS, Palacios-Fest MR, McGill J, Swarzenski PW, Verschuren D, Sinyinza R, Songori T, Kakagozo B, Syampila M, O’Reilly CM, Alin SR (2005) Paleolimnological investigations of anthropogenic environmental change in Lake Tanganyika: I. An introduction to the project. J Paleolimnol 34(1):1–18.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10933-005-2392-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Farmer JG, Eades LJ, Mackenzie AB, Kirika A, Bailey-Watts TE (1996) Stable lead isotope record of lead pollution in Loch Lomond sediments since 1630 AD. Environ Sci Technol 30(10):3080–3083.  https://doi.org/10.1021/es960162o CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Furl C, Roberts T (2011) PBT Chemical Trends in Washington State Determined from Age-Dated Lake Sediment Cores. 2010 Sampling Results. Washington State Department of Ecology, Olympia, WA. Publication No. 11-03-45. https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/SummaryPages/1103045.html
  10. Galer SJG, Abouchami W (1998) Practical application of lead triple spiking for correction of instrumental mass discrimination. Mineral Mag A 62:491–492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gaschnig RM, Vervoort JD, Lewis RS, Tikoff B (2011) Isotopic evolution of the Idaho batholith and Challis intrusive province, northern US cordillera. J Petrol 52(12):2397–2429.  https://doi.org/10.1093/petrology/egr050 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Glew JR, Smol JP, Last WM (2001) Sediment core collection and extrusion. In: Last WM, Smol JP (eds) Tracking environmental change using Lake sediments, vol 1. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, pp 73–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Goodarzi F, Sanei H, Duncan WF (2001) Monitoring the distribution and deposition of trace elements associated with a zinc-lead smelter in the Trail area, British Columbia, Canada. J Environ Monit 3(5):515–525.  https://doi.org/10.1039/b105940h CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Goodarzi F, Sanei H, Garrett RG, Duncan WF (2002a) Accumulation of trace elements on the surface soil around the Trail smelter, British Columbia, Canada. Environ Geol 43:29–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Goodarzi F, Sanei H, Labonté M, Duncan WF (2002b) Sources of lead and zinc associated with metal smelting activities in the Trail area, British Columbia, Canada. J Environ Monit 4(3):400–407.  https://doi.org/10.1039/b200787h CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Goodarzi F, Sanei H, Duncan WF (2003) Deposition of trace elements in the trail region, British Columbia; an assessment of the environmental effect of a base metal smelter on land. Geological Survey of Canada, Bulletin 573Google Scholar
  17. Granney JR, Halliday AN, Keeler GJ, Nriagu JO, Robbins JA, Norton SA (1995) Isotopic record of lead pollution in lake sediments from the northeastern United States. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 59(9):1715–1728.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0016-7037(95)00077-D CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hobbs WO, Wolfe AP (2007) Caveats on the use of paleolimnology to infer Pacific salmon returns. Limnol Oceanogr 52(5):2053–2061.  https://doi.org/10.4319/lo.2007.52.5.2053 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Höy T, Dunne KPE (2001) Metallogeny and mineral deposits of the Nelson-Rossland map-area; part II: the Early Jurassic Rossland group southeastern British Columbia. British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines, Bulletin 109Google Scholar
  20. ICF (2011) Air quality and deposition analysis for the upper Columbia River basin – model based assessment of the impact of emissions from the Teck-Cominco facility on regional air quality and deposition. ICF International, San Rafael, California. Report #11-018. https://quicksilver.epa.gov/work/10/100001302.pdf
  21. Ilyashuk BP, Ilyashuk EA (2001) Response of alpine chironomid communities (Lake Chuna, Kola Peninsula, northwestern Russia) to atmospheric contamination. J Paleolimnol 25(4):467–475.  https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1011187520169 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ilyashuk B, Ilyashuk E, Dauvalter V (2003) Chironomid responses to long-term metal contamination: a paleolimnological study in two bays of Lake Imandra, Kola Peninsula, northern Russia. J Paleolimnol 30(2):217–230.  https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1025528605002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Johnson A, Friese M, Coots R, Roland J, Dowling B, Gruenenfelder C (2013) Metals concentrations in sediments of lakes and wetlands in the Upper Columbia River watershed: lead, zinc, arsenic, cadmium, antimony, and mercury. Washington Department of Ecology, Publication No. 13-03-012Google Scholar
  24. Johnson A, Friese M, Roland J, Gruenenfelder C, Dowling B, Fernandez A, Hamlin T (2011) Background characterization for metals and organic compounds in northeast Washington lakes part 1: bottom sediments. Washington Department of Ecology, Publication No. 11-03-035Google Scholar
  25. Kadlec M, Gruenenfelder C, Roland J (2017) Preliminary review and evaluation of available air quality monitoring data and consideration of potential present-day health risks, upper Columbia River valley, near Northport, Washington. March 2017 Publication no. 17-02-003. https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/gsp/Sitepage.aspx?csid=12125
  26. Nelson BK (2011) Data report from Bruce K. Nelson, Ph.D. Pakootas et al. v. Teck Cominco Metals Ltd.Google Scholar
  27. Ng A, Patterson CC (1982) Changes of lead and barium with time in California off-shore basin sediments. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 46:2307–2321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Nriagu JO (1990) Global metal pollution poisoning the biosphere? Environment 32:7–33Google Scholar
  29. Nriagu JO, Pacyna JM (1988) Quantitative assessment of worldwide contamination of air, water and soils by trace metals. Nature 333(6169):134–137.  https://doi.org/10.1038/333134a0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Monna F, Clauer N, Toulkeridis T, Lancelot JR (2000) Influence of anthropogenic activity on the lead isotope signature of Thau Lake sediments (southern France): origin and temporal evolution. Appl Geochem 15(9):1291–1305.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0883-2927(99)00117-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Odigie KO, Flegal AR (2014) Trace metal inventories and lead isotopic composition chronicle a forest fire’s remobilization of industrial contaminants deposited in the Angeles National Forest. PLoS One 9(9):e107835.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0107835 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pacyna JM (1987) Atmospheric emissions of arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury from high temperature processes in power generation and industry. In: Hutchinson TC, Meema KM (eds) Lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic in the environment. Wiley, Hoboken, pp 69–87Google Scholar
  33. Pacyna JM, Pacyna EG (2001) An assessment of global and regional trace metals to the atmosphere from anthropogenic sources worldwide. Environ Rev 9(4):269–298.  https://doi.org/10.1139/a01-012 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Patterson TL, Duce RA (1991) The cycle of atmospheric cadmium over the North Pacific Ocean. Tellus 43(1):12–29.  https://doi.org/10.3402/tellusb.v43i1.15243 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Queneau PB (2014) Expert opinion of Paul B. Queneau, Pakootas, et al. v Tech Cominco Metals et al. August 1, 2014. https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/gsp/DocViewer.ashx?did=67055
  36. [ROT] Record of Ores Treated 1916-1922 (1922) Records of Northport Smelting and Refining Company. University of Idaho Special Collections and Archives, Moscow, Idaho, Manuscript Group 234, Box/Volume 45Google Scholar
  37. Sangster DF, Outridge PM, Davis WJ (2000) Stable lead isotope characteristics of lead ore deposits of environmental significance. Environ Rev 8(2):115–147.  https://doi.org/10.1139/a00-008 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Shiel AE, Weis D, Orians KJ (2010) Evaluation of zinc, cadmium and lead isotope fractionation during smelting and refining. Sci Total Environ 408(11):2357–2368.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.02.016 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Small WD (1973) Isotopic compositions of selected ore leads from northeastern Washington. Can J Earth Sci 10(5):670–678.  https://doi.org/10.1139/e73-067 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Smol JP (2008) Pollution of lakes and rivers: a paleoenvironmental perspective. Blackwell, MaldenGoogle Scholar
  41. Stukas VJ, Wong CS (1981) Stable lead isotopes as a tracer in coastal waters. Science 211(4489):1424–1427.  https://doi.org/10.1126/science.211.4489.1424 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sturges WT, Barrie LA (1987) Lead 206/207 isotope ratios in the atmosphere of North America as tracers of US and Canadian emissions. Nature 329(6135):144–146.  https://doi.org/10.1038/329144a0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. [TAI] Teck American Incorporated (2010) Upper Columbia River: screening-level ecological risk assessmentGoogle Scholar
  44. Teck Cominco (2002) Annual ReportGoogle Scholar
  45. Teutsch N, Erel Y, Halicz L, Banin A (2001) Distribution of natural and anthropogenic lead in Mediterranean soils. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 65(17):2853–2864.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0016-7037(01)00607-X CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Thienpont JR, Korosi JB, Hargan KE, Williams T, Eickmeyer DC, Kimpe LE, Palmer MJ, Smol JP, Blais JM (2016) Multi-trophic level response to extreme metal contamination from gold mining in a subarctic lake. Proc R Soc B 283(1836):20161125.  https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2016.1125 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Townsend AT, Snape I, Palmer AS, Seen AJ (2009) Lead isotopic signatures in Antarctic marine sediment cores: a comparison between 1 M HCl partial extraction and HF total digestion pre-treatments for discerning anthropogenic inputs. Sci Total Environ 408(2):382–389.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.10.014 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. [USEPA] United States Environmental Protection Agency (1996) Method 3050B, acid digestion of sediments, sludges, and soilsGoogle Scholar
  49. [USEPA] United States Environmental Protection Agency (2006) Phase I sediment sampling data evaluation - Upper Columbia River site CERCLA RI/FS. Draft finalGoogle Scholar
  50. [USEPA] United States Environmental Protection Agency (2007) Method 7473, mercury in solids and solutions by thermal decomposition, amalgamation and atomic absorption spectrometryGoogle Scholar
  51. [USEPA] United States Environmental Protection Agency (2014) Upper Columbia River investigation site updateGoogle Scholar
  52. Vlassopoulos D (2010) Expert Report of Dimitrios Vlassopoulos. Pakootas et al. v. Teck Cominco Metals Ltd. https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/gsp/Sitepage.aspx?csid=12125
  53. Vlassopoulos D (2014) Expert Report of Dimitrios Vlassopoulos. Pakootas et al. v. Teck Cominco Metals Ltd. https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/gsp/Sitepage.aspx?csid=12125
  54. [WADOE] Washington Department of Ecology (1998) Northport, Washington air quality study phase III. Publication No. 98-210Google Scholar
  55. White WM (2015) Isotope geochemistry. Wiley, HobokenGoogle Scholar
  56. White WM, Albarède F, Télouk P (2000) High-precision analysis of Pb isotope ratios by multi-collector ICP-MS. Chem Geol 167(3-4):257–270.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0009-2541(99)00182-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Zartman RE, Stacey JS (1971) Lead isotopes and mineralization ages in Belt Supergroup rocks, northwestern Montana and northern Idaho. Econ Geol 66(6):849–860.  https://doi.org/10.2113/gsecongeo.66.6.849 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Wright Child
    • 1
    • 2
  • Barry C. Moore
    • 1
  • Jeffrey D. Vervoort
    • 1
  • Marc W. Beutel
    • 3
  1. 1.School of the EnvironmentWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA
  2. 2.Chemical and Materials EngineeringUniversity of IdahoCoeur d’AleneUSA
  3. 3.School of EngineeringUniversity of California–MercedMercedUSA

Personalised recommendations