Past Atmospheric Deposition of Metals in Northern Indiana Measured in a Peat Core from Cowles Bog

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A peat core from a calcareous fen was used to assess past metal accumulation from atmospheric sources in northern Indiana. Total concentrations of Al, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sr, and Zn were measured at intervals along the core, which were dated by 210Pb, radiocarbon, and pollen analysis. The deposition of airborne metal particulates rose dramatically from presettlement levels as industrialization occurred upwind, with accumulation rates for some metals increasing by 2 orders of magnitude. Recent accumulation rates are about half of the peak rates of the 1970s, presumably because of emission controls and reduced production. This study, the first such record from a calcareous fen, should be less affected by postdepositional mobility than records from acidic peatlands. This method of retrospective, long-term monitoring of airborne particulates can be applied in many areas lacking such records. © 1990, American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.

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Environmental Science and Technology