Contaminated sediment dynamics in peatland headwater catchments

Shuttleworth, E, Clay, G, Evans, M, Hutchinson, SM and Rothwell, J 2017, 'Contaminated sediment dynamics in peatland headwater catchments' , Journal of Soils and Sediments .

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Abstract

Purpose Despite substantial research into Pb storage in peatlands, formal description of the mechanisms of contaminated sediment mobilisation is limited. This study explores the controlling factors of contaminated sediment dynamics in an eroding peatland in the Peak District National Park, UK. Materials and methods This study uses the Pb contamination stored near the peat’s surface as a fingerprint to trace contaminated sediment dynamics in three severely degraded headwater catchments. A field portable XRF analyser was used across a range of catchment surfaces to examine patterns of contaminant storage and release. Results and discussion Lead concentrations varied greatly over a small spatial scale. Erosion is exposing high concentrations of Pb on interfluve surfaces (up to 1660 μg g−1), and substantial amounts of reworked contaminated material (up to 1010 μg g−1) are stored on other catchment surfaces (gully walls and floors). A variety of factors have been shown to significantly control Pb release and storage in this environment, including wind action, aspect, and gully depth. Vegetation also plays an important role in retaining sediment-bound heavy metals within contaminated peat catchments.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Soils and Sediments
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 1439-0108
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Dr Simon M. Hutchinson
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2017 13:25
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2017 02:57
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/41406

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