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Atmosphere 2018, 9(7), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9070253

Reconstruction of Atmospheric Lead Pollution During the Roman Period Recorded in Belgian Ombrotrophic Peatlands Cores

1
UR Argiles, Géochimie et Environnements sédimentaires (AGEs), Département de Géologie, Université de Liège, 4000 Liège, Belgique
2
GEOTOP Research Center for the Dynamics of the Earth System, Université du Québec à Montréal, Succ. Centre-Ville CP 8888, Montreal, QC H3C 3P8, Canada
3
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS), Earth and History of Life, Rue Vautier 29, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
4
G-Time, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 May 2018 / Revised: 28 June 2018 / Accepted: 2 July 2018 / Published: 5 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Metal Pollution)
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Abstract

Two peat cores from two bogs were used to record changes in the atmospheric Pb accumulation rate (Pb AR) in Belgium during the Roman period. The two records were compared to assess the reliability of peat cores as archives of atmospheric Pb deposition and to establish histories of atmospheric emissions from anthropogenic sources. To address these issues we analyzed Pb concentration and its isotopes, using ICP-MS, LA-ICP-MS and MC-ICP-MS in two peat sections, spanning 1000 years each. Lead concentrations in the two cores range from 0.1 to 60 μg g−1, with the maxima between 15 and 60 μg g−1. The average natural background of Pb AR varies between 0.003 and 0.07 mg m−2 yr−1 and the maximum ranges from 0.7 to 1.2 mg m−2 yr−1 between 50 BC and AD 215. The highest Pb AR exceed the pre-Roman period values by a factor of 17–80. Pb isotopic composition indicates that mining and metallurgical activities were the predominant sources of pollution during the Roman period. The Pb AR and chronologies in the Belgian peat cores are consistent with those reported for other continental archives such as lake sediments, peat and ice cores. View Full-Text
Keywords: atmospheric pollution; Pb accumulation rate; peat geochemistry; Roman period; Pb isotopes atmospheric pollution; Pb accumulation rate; peat geochemistry; Roman period; Pb isotopes
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Allan, M.; Pinti, D.L.; Ghaleb, B.; Verheyden, S.; Mattielli, N.; Fagel, N. Reconstruction of Atmospheric Lead Pollution During the Roman Period Recorded in Belgian Ombrotrophic Peatlands Cores. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 253.

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