The Use of Sediments as Indicators of Point and Diffuse Source Pollution

  • R. D. Evans
  • R. J. Cornett
  • V. A. McCulloch
Conference paper


Sediment cores were collected at several locations in each of two lakes, Moira Lake and Perch Lake. Each lake has been subjected to input of a contaminant (Ni and 60Co, respectively) through a point source. We have examined the distribution of these point source contaminants in the lake sediments and compared them with the distribution of a contaminant from a diffuse source. We have tested the hypothesis that the distribution of these contaminants in lake sediments can be used to identify the location at which the material enters the lakes. The correlation between the distance from the known sources of contamination and the mass of that contaminant in the sediments was very poor in each lake (Moira: n=15, r=−0.06; Perch: n=24, r=0.17). By comparison, there was a good correlation in each lake between the mass of the point source contaminant and atmospherically deposited lead in the sediments. Furthermore, in Moira Lake, there was a good relationship between the rate of accumulation of bulk sediments and the mass of Ni at a given site (n= 15, r=0.87). In these lakes, contaminant redistribution prevented the use of sediment contaminant patterns for determining sources of pollution.


Point Source Lake Sediment Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrometry Bulk Sediment Sediment Accumulation Rate 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. D. Evans
  • R. J. Cornett
  • V. A. McCulloch

There are no affiliations available

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