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Dendrogeochemical distinction between geogenic and anthropogenic emissions of metals and gases near a copper smelter

Martine M. Savard, C. Begin, M. Parent, J. Marion and A. Smirnoff
Dendrogeochemical distinction between geogenic and anthropogenic emissions of metals and gases near a copper smelter (in Perspective on smelter emissions of metals in the environment, Martine M. Savard, Graeme F. Bonham-Carter and Catharine M. Banic)
Geochemistry - Exploration, Environment, Analysis (August 2006) 6 (2-3): 237-247


For countries where metal resources represent an important economic sector, one of the main challenges of environmental research is to distinguish between natural and anthropogenic accumulations of potentially toxic metals in mining districts. The present work aims to evaluate a new environmental monitoring tool combining dendrochronology with natural (Ca, Ca/Mn, delta (super 13) C) and anthropogenic (Cd, Pb, (super 206) Pb/ (super 207) Pb, (super 208) Pb/ (super 206) Pb) geochemical tracers in tree rings in such a region. We compare spruce trees sampled at a control site near Hudson Bay, with those sampled near the Horne smelter active since 1928 in Rouyn-Noranda. The first effect of smelter emissions is detected by the tree-ring carbon isotope records. The delta (super 13) C values obtained on trees near the smelter show major changes immediately after 1928. This is due to the presence of atmospheric SO (sub 2) which generates a rapid response of the foliar system. The Ca/Mn ratios in tree-ring pairs of 1936-1937 and younger suggest a SO (sub 2) -related soil acidification. The concentrations in Cd and Pb show a major increase starting in 1944 which coincides with a decrease of the (super 206) Pb/ (super 207) Pb ratios. The smelter activities likely generated this increase and the apparent delay of 14 years may have been generated mainly by the residence time of metals in airborne particulates, the buffering effect of the soils and, to a lesser extent, perhaps by mobility of heavy metals in tree stems. The (super 206) Pb/ (super 207) Pb and (super 208) Pb/ (super 206) Pb ratios indicate that the growth rings contain at least three types of Pb: natural, derived from the mineral soil horizons; industrial, from coal burning urban pollution; and mining, typical of the volcanogenic massive sulphides treated at the Horne smelter. This new combination of natural and anthropogenic tracers allows recognition of the succession of atmospheric and pedogeochemical changes related to industrial activities in the Rouyn-Noranda mining area.

ISSN: 1467-7873
EISSN: 2041-4943
Serial Title: Geochemistry - Exploration, Environment, Analysis
Serial Volume: 6
Serial Issue: 2-3
Title: Dendrogeochemical distinction between geogenic and anthropogenic emissions of metals and gases near a copper smelter
Title: Perspective on smelter emissions of metals in the environment
Author(s): Savard, Martine M.Begin, C.Parent, M.Marion, J.Smirnoff, A.
Author(s): Savard, Martine M.
Author(s): Bonham-Carter, Graeme F.
Author(s): Banic, Catharine M.
Affiliation: Geological Survey of Canada, Quebec City, QC, Canada
Affiliation: Geological Survey of Canada, Canada
Pages: 237-247
Published: 200608
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society Publishing House, London, United Kingdom
References: 52
Accession Number: 2006-055413
Categories: Isotope geochemistryEnvironmental geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 3 tables, sketch map
N45°30'00" - N48°00'00", W79°40'00" - W77°30'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Environment Canada, CAN, CanadaInstitut National de la Recherche Scientifique, CAN, Canada
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data from The Geological Society, London, London, United Kingdom
Update Code: 200630
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