Advertisement

Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 52, Issue 3, pp 121–137 | Cite as

Evidence that excess 210Pb flux varies with sediment accumulation rate and implications for dating recent sediments

  • José-María Abril
  • Gregg J. Brunskill
Original paper

Abstract

Most 210Pb dating models assume that atmospheric flux of excess 210Pb (210Pbexc) to the sediment–water interface remains constant over time. We revisited this assumption using statistical analysis of a database of laminated sediments and evaluated the implications for radiometric dating of recent deposits. A bibliographic survey enabled us to create a database with 10 annually laminated sediment cores from a variety of aquatic systems. The database has records of 210Pbexc flux, initial 210Pbexc activity, and sediment accumulation rate (SAR). 210Pbexc flux to sediments varied with time, and 1/3 of the data had relative deviations from the mean value >25 %. There was no statistically significant correlation between activities at the core top and SAR, whereas a statistically significant (p < 0.01) linear regression between 210Pbexc flux and SAR was found for nine of the ten cores. Thus, in most of the studied aquatic systems, 210Pbexc flux to the sediment was governed primarily by flux of matter, rather than by direct atmospheric 210Pbexc deposition. Errors in chronology and SAR, attributable to varying 210Pbexc flux and estimated by the constant rate of supply (CRS) model, were evaluated from its analytical solutions, and tested against SAR values from this database that were derived independently from varves. We identified several constraints for general application of the CRS model, which must be taken into account to avoid its misuse.

Keywords

Constant rate of 210Pb supply model Radiometric sediment chronology Sediment accumulation rate Time-dependent fluxes 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was funded partially by the FIS2012-31853 Project. We sincerely acknowledge the excellent work carried out by the authors of the papers from which we constructed the database used in this study.

Supplementary material

10933_2014_9782_MOESM1_ESM.doc (144 kb)
Appendix A Data from cores C1 to C9 (DOC 143 kb)
10933_2014_9782_MOESM2_ESM.doc (44 kb)
Appendix B Data from core C10 (DOC 43 kb)
10933_2014_9782_MOESM3_ESM.doc (30 kb)
Appendix C Supplementary statistical analysis of the dataset with laminated sediments (in ESM Appendix A)(DOC 30 kb)
10933_2014_9782_MOESM4_ESM.pdf (106 kb)
Fig. A-1 Initial 210Pbexc activity versus SAR for cores C1 to C9 (Table 1 and ESM Appendix). Trend lines from the BCES estimator (in boxes, “a” is the slope and R2 the coefficient of determination; N.S means not statistically significant, and * a confidence level >95 %) (PDF 105 kb)
10933_2014_9782_MOESM5_ESM.pdf (87 kb)
Fig. A-2 Frequency distribution for normalized (to the arithmetic mean of each core) initial activities, 210Pbexc fluxes and SAR (all data from cores C1 to C9, Table 1 and ESM Appendix). The continuous line plots the normal distribution for the sake of comparison. Normality tests are reported in ESM Appendix C (PDF 87 kb)

References

  1. Abril JM (2003a) A new theoretical treatment of compaction and the advective-diffusive processes in sediments. A reviewed basis for radiometric dating models. J Paleolimnol 30:363–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abril JM (2003b) Difficulties in interpreting fast mixing in the radiometric dating of sediments using 210Pb and 137Cs. J Paleolimnol 30:407–414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Abril JM (2004) Constraints on the use of Cs-137 as a time-marker to support CRS and SIT chronologies. Environ Pollut 129:31–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Abril JM (2011) Could bulk density profiles provide information on recent sedimentation rates? J Paleolimnol 46:173–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Abril JM, Fraga E (1996) Some physical and chemical features of the variability of k d distribution coefficients for radionuclides. J Environ Radioact 30:253–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Abril JM, Gharbi F (2012) Radiometric dating of recent sediments: beyond the boundary conditions. J Paleolimnol 48:449–460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Abril JM, García-León M, García-Tenorio R, Sánchez CI, El-Daoushy F (1992) Dating of marine sediments by an incomplete mixing model. J Environ Radioact 15:135–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Akritas MG, Bershady MA (1996) Linear regression for astronomical data with measurement errors and intrinsic scatter. Astrophys J 470:706–714CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Appleby PG (1998) Dating recent sediments by 210Pb: problems and solutions. In: Illus E (ed) Dating of sediments and determination of sedimentation rate. STUK A-145, Finland, pp 7–24Google Scholar
  10. Appleby PG (2001) Chronostratigraphic techniques in recent sediments. In: Last WL, Smol JP (eds) Tracking environmental change using lake sediments. Basin analysis, coring, and chronological techniques. Developments in paleoenvironmental research. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp 171–203Google Scholar
  11. Appleby PG, Oldfield F (1978) The calculation of lead-210 dates assuming a constant rate of supply of unsupported 210Pb to the sediment. Catena 5:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Appleby PG, Oldfield F, Thompson R, Huttunen P, Tolonen K (1979) Pb-210 dating of annually laminated lake sediments from Finland. Nature 280:53–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Brunskill GJ (1969) Fayetteville Green Lake, New York. II. Precipitation and sedimentation of calcite in a meromictic lake with laminated sediments. Limnol Oceanogr 14:830–847CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Brunskill GJ, Ludlam SD (1988) The variation of annual 210Pb flux to varved sediments of Fayetteville Green Lake, New York from 1885 to 1965. Ver Internat Verein Limnol 23:848–854Google Scholar
  15. Brunskill GJ, Ludlam SD, Peng T-H (1984) Mass balance and sedimentation of 137-Cs in Fayetteville Green Lake, N.Y. Chem Geol 44:101–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Caroll J, Lerche I (2003) Sedimentary processes: quantification using radionuclides. Elsevier, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  17. Christensen ER (1982) A model for radionuclides in sediments influenced by mixing and compaction. J Geophys Res 87:566–572CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Chutko KJ, Lamoureux SF (2009) Biolaminated sedimentation in a High Arctic freshwater lake. Sedimentology 56:1642–1654CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Di Gregorio DE, Fernández Niello JO, Huck H, Somacal H, Curutchet G (2007) 210Pb dating of sediments in a heavily contaminated drainage channel to the La Plata estuary in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Appl Radiat Isotopes 65:126–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Díaz-Asencio M, Alonso-Hernández CM, Bolanos-Álvarez Y, Gómez-Batista M, Pinto V, Morabito R, Hernández-Albernas JI, Eriksson M, Sánchez-Cabeza JA (2009) One century sedimentary record of Hg and Pb pollution in the Sagua estuary (Cuba) derived from 210Pb and 137Cs chronology. Mar Pollut Bull 59:108–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. El-Dahoushy F (1988) A summary of the lead-210 cycle in nature and related applications in Scandinavia. Environ Int 14:305–319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Emeis KC, Struck U, Leipe T, Pollehne F, Kunzendorf H, Christiansen C (2000) Changes in the C, N, P burial rates in some Baltic Sea sediments over the last 150 years—relevance to P regeneration rates and the phosphorus cycle. Mar Geol 167:43–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Finsinger W, Bigler Ch, Krähenbühl U, Lotter AF, Ammann B (2006) Human impacts and eutrophication patterns during the past ~200 years at Lago Grande di Avigliana (N. Italy). J Paleolimnol 36:55–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Goldberg ED (1963) Geochronology with Pb-210. Proceedings of a Symposium of Radioactive Dating, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, pp 121–131Google Scholar
  25. Graustein WC, Turekian KK (1986) 210Pb and 137Cs in air and soils measure the rate and vertical profile of aerosol scavenging. J Geophys Res 91(D13):14355–14366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Honeyman BD, Santschi PH (1989) A Brownian-pumping model for trace metal scavenging: evidence from Th isotopes. J Mar Res 47:951–992CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kerfoot WC, Robbins JA (1999) Nearshore regions of Lake Superior: multi-element signatures of mining discharges and a test of Pb-210 deposition under conditions of variable sediment mass flux. J Great Lakes Res 25:697–720CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Klaminder JP, Appleby JP, Crook P, Renberg I (2012) Post-deposition diffusion of 137Cs in lake sediment: implications for radiocaesium dating. Sedimentology 59:2259–2267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Koide M, Soutar A, Goldberg ED (1972) Marine geochronology with 210Pb. Earth Planet Sci Lett 14:442–446CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Koide M, Bruland K, Goldberg ED (1973) Th-228/Th-232 and Pb-210 geochronologies in marine and lake sediments. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 37:1171–1187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Krishnaswamy S, Lal D, Martin JM, Meybek M (1971) Geochronology of lake sediments. Earth Planet Sci Lett 11:407–414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Laissaoui A, Benmansour M, Ziad N, Ibn Majah M, Abril JM, Mulsow S (2008) Anthropogenic radionuclides in the water column and a sediment core from the Alboran Sea: application to radiometric dating and reconstruction of historical water column radionuclide concentration. J Paleolimnol 40:823–833CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lamoureux SF (1998) Distinguishing between the geomorphic and hydro-meteorological controls recorded in clastic varved sediments. Ph D. thesis, Department of Earth and Atrnospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  34. Lima AL, Hubeny JB, Reddy ChM, King JW, Hughen KA, Eglinton TI (2005) High-resolution historical records from Pettaquamscutt River basin sediments: 1. 210Pb and varve chronologies validate record of 137Cs released by the Chernobyl accident. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 69:1803–1812CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ludlam SD (1969) Fayetteville Green Lake, New York. III. The laminated sediments. Limnol Oceanogr 14:848–857CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Ludlam SD (1974) Fayetteville Green Lake, NY VI. The role of turbidity currents in lake sedimentation. Limnol Oceanogr 19:656–664CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ludlam SD (1981) Sedimentation rates in Fayetteville Green Lake, N. Y, USA. Sedimentology 28:85–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Ludlam SD (1984) Fayetteville Green Lake, N. Y. VII. Varve chronology and sediment focusing. Chem Geol 44:85–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Nozaki Y, McMaster DJ, Lewis DM, Turekian KK (1978) Atmospheric Pb-210 fluxes determined from soil profiles. J Geophys Res 83:4047–4051CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Nyffeler UP, Li YH, Santschi PH (1984) A kinetic approach to describe trace element distribution between particles and solution in natural aquatic systems. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 48:1513–1522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Ojala AEK, Francus P, Zolitschka B, Besonen M, Lamoureux SF (2012) Characteristics of sedimentary varve chronologies—a review. Quaternary Sci Rev 43:45–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Rangarajan C, Madhavan R, Gopalakrishnan Smt S (1986) Spatial and temporal distribution of lead-210 in the surface layers of the atmosphere. J Environ Radioact 3:23–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Reinikainen P, Meriläinen JJ, Virtanen A, Veijola H, Äystö J (1997) Accuracy of 210Pb dating in two annually laminated lake sediments with high Cs background. Appl Radiat Isotopes 48:1009–1019CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Robbins JA (1978) Geochemical and Geophysical applications of radioactive lead isotopes. In: Nriago JP (ed) Biochemistry of lead in the environment. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 285–393Google Scholar
  45. Robbins JA, Edgington DN (1975) Determination of recent sedimentation rates in Lake Michigan using 210Pb and 137Cs. Geochim Cosmochim Ac 39:285–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Robbins JA, Krezoski JR, Mozley SC (1977) Radioactivity in sediments of the Great Lakes; Post-depositional redistribution by deposit-feeding organisms. Earth Planet Sci Lett 36:325–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Schettler G, Mingram J, Negendank JFW, Jiaqi L (2006a) Paleovariations in the East-Asian Monsson regime geochemically recorded in varved sediments of Lake Sihailongwan (Northeast China, Jilin province). Part 2: a 200-year record of atmospheric lead-210 flux variations and its palaeoclimatic implications. J Paeolimnol 35:271–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Schettler G, Qiang L, Mingram J, Negendank JFW (2006b) Paleovariations in the East-Asian Monsson regime geochemically recorded in varved sediments of Lake Sihailongwan (Northeast China, Jilin province). Part 1: Hydrological conditions and flux. J Paleolimnol 35:239–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Shanahan TM, Overpeck JT, Beck JW, Wheeler CW, Peck JA, King JW, Scholz ChA (2008) The formation of biogeochemical laminations in Lake Bosumtwi, Ghana, and their usefulness as indicators of past environmental changes. J Paleolimnol 40:339–355CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Smith JN (2001) Why should we believe 210Pb sediment geochronologies? J Environ Radioact 55:121–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Smith JN, Boudreau BP, Noshkin V (1986) Plutonium and 210Pb distributions in northeast Atlantic sediments: subsurface anomalies caused by non-local mixing. Earth Planet Sci Lett 81:15–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Stevenson AC, Battarbee RW (1991) Palaeoecological and documentary records of recent environmental change in Garaet El Ichkeul: a seasonally Saline Lake in NW Tunisia. Biol Conserv 58:275–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Trabelsi Y, Gharbi F, El Ghali A, Oueslati M, Samaali M, Abdelli W, Baccouche S, Ben Tekaya M, Benmansour M, Mabit L, Ben M’Barek N, Reguigui N, Abril JM (2012) Recent sedimentation rates in Garaet El Ichkeul Lake, NW Tunisia, as affected by the construction of dams and a regulatory sluice. J Soil Sediment 12:784–796CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Turekian KK, Nozaki Y, Benninger LK (1977) Geochemistry of atmospheric radon and radon products. Annu Rev Earth Planet Sci 5:227–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Tylmann W, Enters D, Kinder M, Moska P, Ohlendorf Ch, Poreba G, Zolitschka B (2013) Multiple dating of varved sediments from Lake Łazduny, northern Poland: toward an improved chronology for the last 150 years. Quat Geochronol 15:98–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Tylmann W, Fischer HW, Enters D, Kinder M, Moska P, Ohlendorf Ch, Poreba G, Zolitschka B (2014) Reply to the comment by F. Gharbi on “Multiple dating of varved sediments from Lake Łazduny, northern Poland: toward an improved chronology for the last 150 years”. Quat Geochronol 20:11–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. von Gunten HR, Moser RN (1993) How reliable is the 210Pb dating method? Old and new results from Switzerland. J Paleolimnol 9:161–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Wan GJ, Santschi PH, Sturm M, Farrenkothen K, Lueck A, Werth E, Schuler Ch (1987) Natural (210Pb, 7Be) and fallout (137Cs, 239,240Pu, 90Sr) radionuclides as geochemical tracers of sedimentation in Greifensee, Switzerland. Chem Geol 63:181–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Winkler R, Rosner G (2000) Seasonal and long-term variation of 210Pb concentration in air, atmospheric deposition rate and total deposition velocity in south Germany. Sci Total Environ 263:57–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Wolfe B, Kling HJ, Brunskill GJ, Wilkinson P (1994) Multiple dating of a Freeze Core from Lake 227, and experimentally fertilized Lake with Varved sediments. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 51:2274–2285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Zaborska A, Carroll J, Papucci C, Torricelli L, Carroll ML, Walkusz-Miotk J, Pempkowiak J (2008) Recent sediment accumulation rates for the Western margin of the Barents Sea. Deep-Sea Res Pt II 55:2352–2360CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Física Aplicada IUniversidad de SevillaSevilleSpain
  2. 2.Alligator CreekAustralia

Personalised recommendations