Impacts of Coal-Fired Power Plants on Trace Metals and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Lake Sediments in Central Alberta, Canada
Trace metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) were analyzed in sediment cores from three central Alberta lakes to determine the contributions of local coal-fired power plants to contaminant loadings. In Wabamun Lake, with four power plants built since 1950 within a 35-km radius, sediment concentrations of mercury, copper, lead, arsenic and selenium have increased by 1.2- to 4-fold. Trace metal enrichments were less pronounced in Lac Ste. Anne and Pigeon Lake, situated 20 km north and 70 km south of Wabamun Lake, respectively. Total Hg flux to Wabamun Lake sediments (21–32μg m−2 yr−1) has increased 6-fold since 1950, compared to 2- and 1.5-fold increases in Lac Ste. Anne and Pigeon Lake, respectively, since circa 1900. Total PAH flux to surface sediments was 730–1100μg m−2 yr−1 in Wabamun Lake, 290–420μg m−2 yr−1 in Lac Ste. Anne, and 140–240μg m−2 yr−1 in Pigeon Lake. Without adoption of pollution-abatement technology that compensates for increases in generating capacity, continued expansion of coal-burning industry in Alberta will result in increased contaminant deposition, primarily from local sources.
KeywordsCoal combustion Mercury Pb210 dating Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons Sediment core Trace metals
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Appleby, P.G. 2001Chronostratigraphic techniques in recent sedimentsLast, W.M.Smol, J.P. eds. Tracking Environmental Change Using Lake Sediments Volume 1: Basin Analysis, Coring, and Chronological TechniquesKluwer Academic PublishersDordrecht171203Google Scholar
- Bourbonniere R.A., Telford S.L. and Kemper J.B. 1996. Depositional history of sediments in Lake Athabasca: geochronology, bulk parameters, contaminants and biogeochemical markers. Northern River Basins Project Report No. 72. Edmonton, Alberta135 pp.Google Scholar
- CASA (Clean Air Strategic Alliance). 2003. An Emissions Management Framework for the Alberta Electricity Sector Report to Stakeholders. Edmonton, Alberta160 pp.Google Scholar
- CEC (Commission on Environmental Cooperation). 2005. North American Power Plant Emissions. http://www.cec.org.
- Cheam, V., Reynoldson, T., Garbai, G., Rajkumar, J., Milani, D. 2000Local impacts of coal mines and power plants across Canada. II. Metals, organics and toxicity in sedimentsWater Qual. Res. J. Can.35609631Google Scholar
- Dean, W.E. 1974Determination of carbonate and organic matter in calcareous sediments and sedimentary rocks by loss on ignition: comparison with other methodsJ. Sediment. Petrol.44242248Google Scholar
- Engstrom, D.R., Swain, E.B., Henning, T.A., Brigham, M.E., Brezonik, P.L. 1994Atmospheric mercury deposition to lakes and watershedsBaker, L.A. eds. Environmental Chemistry of Lakes and ReservoirsAmerican Chemical SocietyWashington, DC3366Google Scholar
- Fitzgerald, W.F., Lamborg, C.H. 2003Geochemistry of mercury in the environmentEnviron. Geochem.9107148Google Scholar
- Forstner, U. 1987Sediment-associated contaminants – an overview of scientific bases for developing remedial optionsHydrobiologia149221246Google Scholar
- Galloway, J.N., Thornton, J.D., Norton, S.A., Volchok, H.L., McLean, R.A.N. 1982Trace metals in atmospheric deposition: a review and assessmentAtmos. Environ.1616771700Google Scholar
- Glew, J.R., Smol, J.P., Last, W.M. 2001Sediment core collection and extrusionLast, W.M.Smol, J.P. eds. Tracking Environmental Change Using Lake Sediments. Vol 1: Basin Analysis Coring, and Chronological TechniquesKluwer Academic PublishersDordrecht73105Google Scholar
- Golder Associates Limit ed. 2002. Report on water and sediment quality in Wabamun Lake and surrounding lakes. Calgary, Alberta127 pp.Google Scholar
- Grimmer, G., Hildebrandt, A. 1975Investigations on the carcinogenic burden by air pollution in man-XIII. Assessment of the contribution of passenger cars to air pollution by carcinogenic polycyclic hydrocarbonsZbl. Bakt. Hyg.161104124Google Scholar
- Håkanson, L., Jansson, M. 1983Principles of Lake SedimentologySpringer-VerlagBerlin316Google Scholar
- Howsam, M., Jones, K.C. 1998Sources of PAHs in the environmentNeilson, A.H. eds. The Handbook of Environmental ChemistrySpringer-VerlagBerlin137174Google Scholar
- Iverfeldt, A. 1991Occurrence and turnover of atmospheric mercury over the nordic countriesWater Air Soil Poll.56251265Google Scholar
- Johnson, M.G. 1987Trace element loadings to sediments of fourteen Ontario lakes and correlations with concentrations in fishCan. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci.44313Google Scholar
- Kirby, J., Maher, W., Harasti, D. 2001Changes in seleniumcoppercadmiumand zinc concentrations in Mullet (Mugil cephalus) from the Southern Basin of Lake MacquarieAustraliain response to alteration of coal-fired power station fly ash handling proceduresArch. Environ. Con. Tox.41171181Google Scholar
- MacDonald, D.D., Ingersoll, C.G., Berger, T.A. 2000Development and evaluation of consensus-based sediment quality guidelines for freshwater ecosystemsArch. Environ. Con. Tox.392031Google Scholar
- Mitchell, P.A., Prepas, E.E. 1990Atlas of Alberta LakesUniversity of Alberta PressEdmonton675Google Scholar
- NPRI. 2001. National Pollutant Release Inventory. Environment Canada http://www.ec.gc.ca/pdb/npri/npri_home_e.cfm.
- Rasmussen, P.E., Villard, D.J., Gardner, H.D., Fortescue, J.A.C., Schiff, S.L., Shilts, W.W. 1998Mercury in lake sediments of the Precambrian Shield near HuntsvilleOntarioCanadaEnviron. Geol.33170182Google Scholar
- Ratajczak, E.-A., Ahland, E., Grimmer, G., Dettbarn, G. 1984Verminderung der Emission Von Polycyclischen Aromatischen Kohlenwasserstoffen bein Ersatz von Pech durch Bitumen in SteinkohlenbrikettsStaub.-Reinhalt. Luft.44505509Google Scholar
- Revuelta, C.C., Fuente Santiago, E., Rodriguez Vazquez, J.A. 1999Characterization of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in emissions from coal-fired power plants: the influence of operation parametersEnviron. Technol.206168Google Scholar
- SENES Consultants Limit. ed. 2002. Evaluation of technologies for reducing mercury emissions from the electric power generation sector. Report prepared for the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment58 pp.Google Scholar
- Voris, P., Page, T.L., Rickard, W.H., Droppo, J.G., Vaughn, B.E. 1985Environmental implications of trace element releases from Canadian coal-fired generating stationsMontrealQuebec94Phase II Final Report for the Canadian Electric Association.Google Scholar
- Brummelen, T.C., Hattum, B., Crommentuijn, T., Kalf, D.F. 1998Bioavailability and ecotoxicity of PAHsNeilson, A.H. eds. The Handbook of Environmental ChemistrySpringer-VerlagBerlin203264Google Scholar