Retention of As and Sb in Ombrotrophic Peat Bogs: Records of As, Sb, and Pb Deposition at Four Scottish Sites

Joanna M. Cloy, John G. Farmer, Margaret C. Graham, Angus B. MacKenzie

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44 Citations (Scopus)


Possible postdepositional As migration in ombrotrophic peat bogs was investigated by comparing depth profiles of As with those of Sb and Pb, two elements considered to be essentially immobile in peat, and those of redox-sensitive, potentially mobile nutrient elements such as Mn, Fe, P, and S in 210Pb-dated cores from four Scottish bogs. Concentration profiles of As were similar to those of Sb and Pb rather than these other elements, indicating that As is bound strongly to organic matter and is relatively immobile in ombrotrophic peat. Historical records of atmospheric anthropogenic As, Sb, and Pb deposition during the industrial and postindustrial periods were derived, site-specific maxima (up to 1.55, 1.33, and 45 mg m−2 y−1, respectively) occurring between the late 1890s and 1960s, reflecting emissions from diverse sources such as mining and smelting, coal combustion, and also, in the case of Pb, exhaust emissions from the use of leaded gasoline. Since the mid-1980s, fluxes of Pb decreased (4−7 fold) more rapidly than those of As and Sb (2−3 fold), attributable to both the gradual elimination of leaded gasoline and recent new sources of the latter elements. Relative trends in derived anthropogenic As, Sb, and Pb deposition largely agreed with other Scottish peat and moss archive records, direct measurements of deposition, and UK emissions, i.e., four different types of data source.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1756-1762
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPrint publication - 16 Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes


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