Tracking Hg historical inputs by Pb-210 geochronology for the Itapessoca Estuarine Complex, Pernambuco, Brazil
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The application of geochronology for tracking mercury contamination was remarkably demonstrated in the Itamaracá Estuarine Ecosystem, Pernambuco State, Brazil. Here, two sediment cores were sampled, layered and analyzed by the Gas Flow Proportional Counter technique for determining 210Pb, radionuclide applied to geochronology. Mercury was quantified in sediment samples by Cold Vapor Atomic Absorption Spectrometry, varying from 0.17 to 1.29 mg kg−1 in deep sediments. From 210Pb results, the sedimentation rates of 0.84 (0.07) cm year−1 and 1.03 (0.22) cm year−1 confirmed Hg contamination in Itamaracá since mid-1965. Events of extreme precipitation and drought have been also related to the distribution pattern for Hg concentrations in deep sediments.
KeywordsMercury Lead-210 Deep sediments Sediment dating Estuary contamination
The authors are grateful to the Fundação Capes, Fundação Rondônia de Amparo ao Desenvolvimento das Ações Científicas e Tecnológicas e à Pesquisa (FAPERO), Fundação de Amparo à Ciência e Tecnologia do Estado de Pernambuco (FACEPE) and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) for the financial support. The English text of this paper has been revised by Sidney Pratt, Canadian, MAT (The Johns Hopkins University), RSAdip—TESL (Cambridge University).
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