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Recent coastal anthropogenic impact recorded in the Basque mud patch (southern Bay of Biscay shelf)

Abstract: The historical anthropogenic impact on sediments from the Basque Mud Patch (southern Bay of Biscay) is explored using a multidisciplinary approach including the analysis of natural (210Pb) and artificial (137Cs, 239/240Pu) radiotracers, major elements (Al, Mn), metals (Zn, Pb, Cu, Cr), Pb isotopic ratios, and foraminiferal and pollen contents. The study of three short cores (19?46 cm), despite being hindered by the effects of biomixing, allow the calculation of a sedimentation rate of 1 ± 0.1 mm yr?1. Distribution with depth of Al-normalised concentrations of metals reflects an increasing trend since 1880 CE, related to the industrialization of the Basque coastal area. According to the Sediment Quality Guidelines applied, contents of Zn and Pb appear as a potential cause of concern, given that they exceed the values from which adverse biological effects can be occasionally expected. However, foraminiferal assemblages do not show recognizable changes along the cores following increasing trace metal concentrations. Finally, pollen results reveal an increasing trend of coniferous taxa and a parallel reduction of authochthonous Deciduous Quercus, probably as a consequence of reforestation works. Data obtained confirm that effects of coastal anthropogenic activities extend to the adjacent shelf, where muddy deposits are likely to act as a trap for contaminants.

Otras publicaciones de la misma revista o congreso con autores/as de la Universidad de Cantabria

 Fuente: Quaternary International Volumes 566-567, 20 November 2020, 357-367

Editorial: Elsevier Ltd

 Año de publicación: 2020

Nº de páginas: 11

Tipo de publicación: Artículo de Revista

 DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2020.03.042

ISSN: 1040-6182,1873-4553

Proyecto español: CGL2013-41083-P ; RTI2018-095678-B-C21

Url de la publicación: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2020.03.042