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Geochemical evidence of pollutants from coalfired generating stations in late Pleistocene palaeosols in the Dalijia Shan, northwestern China

Abstract

Surface palaeosols in two tills and a diamicton from an area in northwestern China were analysed for geochemical pollutants. Elevated levels of Br, As and Sb indicate that pollution from coal-burning and/or coal-fired electricity generating stations is delivered by aeolian transport into palaeosols dating from the last glaciation. Because the climate in the field area is sub-humid (precipitation <760 mm) the relative movement of soluble elements in palaeosols dating from early and late stades of the last glaciation is not expected to be high. The glacial and aeolian parent materials of the palaeosols indicate differences that are probably related to their source areas and to the incorporation of geochemical pollutants.

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Mahaney, W.C., Hancock, R.G.V. Geochemical evidence of pollutants from coalfired generating stations in late Pleistocene palaeosols in the Dalijia Shan, northwestern China. Environ Geochem Health 18, 35–40 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01757217

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Keywords

  • Airborne pollutants
  • soils
  • northwestern China
  • palaeosols