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Publication MIO : Benoit Thibodeau, Christophe Migon, Aurélie Dufour (MIO), André Poirier, Xavier Mari (MIO), Bassam Ghaleb & Louis Legendre - Low sedimentary accumulation of lead caused by weak downward export of organic matter in Hudson Bay, northern Canada

Version imprimable de cet article

in Biogeochemistry (2017) 136:279-291 DOI 10.1007/s10533-017-0395-9

Abstract :

Atmospheric input of anthropogenic lead increased globally over the last centuries. The present study shows that the concentrations of lead in sediment cores from low-productivity Hudson Bay, northern Canada, remained relatively constant over the last centuries. The lack of imprint of the increased anthropogenic leadinput in this marine environment is not consistent with the increased lead concentrations in nearby lakes over the same period. In addition, the observed trend in lead isotopic composition in our cores suggests an apparent progressive overprint of anthropogenic lead during the 1900s. In other words, isotopes clearly registered the increasingly anthropogenic nature of lead in the sedimentary record, but totalleadconcentrations remainedconstant,indicating that some process limited the export of lead to the sediment. These observations point to a long-term limitation of the downward export of particles in Hudson Bay. Given that the source of lead was the same for both Hudson Bay and neighboring highproductivity lakes, we hypothesize that the very low primary productivity of Hudson Bay waters was responsible for the low vertical export of lead to marine sediments. We further propose that primary productivity is the most important factor that generally drives the vertical export of particulate matter, and thus hydrophobic contaminants, in near-oligotrophic marine environments.