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The Use of Snow, Soil and Lichens as Biomonitors of Contaminants in Airborne Particulate Matter in North-Eastern European Russia

  • Tony R. WalkerEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Environmental Science and Engineering book series (ESE)

Abstract

Trace metal composition of snow-melt filter residues, top-soils and lichens were determined along transects through industrial towns in the Pechora Basin: Vorkuta, Inta and Usinsk. Elevated concentrations of deposition elements associated with alkaline coal fly-ash in snow-melt filter residues and soils and to a lesser extent lichens were found within 20–30 km of Vorkuta and Inta. Atmospheric deposition in the vicinity of Vorkuta and Inta, added significantly to the soil contaminant loading as a result of fly-ash fallout. Elemental concentrations in soils within 20–30 km of Vorkuta do not reflect current deposition rates, but instead, reflect an historical pollution legacy, when coal mining activity peaked in the 1960s. Evidence of zinc deposition around Vorkuta was detected in lichens and was largely attributed to local deposition of alkaline fly-ash from coal combustion. The results using the lichen Cladonia arbuscula as a bioindicator of airborne contamination around Vorkuta are consistent with previous studies suggesting that they are useful bioindicators for airborne trace metals. There was little evidence of anthropogenic metal deposition in snow, soils and lichens around the gas and oil production town of Usinsk that had no coal fired power generating plant.

Keywords

Suspended Solid Coal Combustion Airborne Particulate Matter Komi Republic Cement Factory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This paper is dedicated to our late colleague and talented scientist, Dr. Galina Mazhitova. Special thanks to Dr. P.D. Crittenden and Dr. S.D. Young for help with this study. Dr. H. Zhang for processing ICP-MS samples. Help with logistics was provided by colleagues at the Institute of Biology Komi Science Centre (IB-KSC), Syktyvkar, especially Dr. V.I. Ponomarev. Dr. P. Kuhry, for co-ordinating the TUNDRA project, which was supported by the Environment and Climate Programme of the EC (contract number: ENV4-CT97-0522).

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of BiologyUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  2. 2.Dillon Consulting LimitedHalifaxCanada

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