History of atmospheric lead deposition since 12,370 14C yr BP from a peat bog, jura mountains, Switzerland

W. Shotyk, D. Weiss, P. G. Appleby, A. K. Cheburkin, R. Frei, M. Gloor, J. D. Kramers, S. Reese, W. O. Van Der Knaap

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

681 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A continuous record of atmospheric lead since 12,370 carbon-14 years before the present (14C yr BP) is preserved in a Swiss peat bog. Enhanced fluxes caused by climate changes reached their maxima 10,590 14C yr BP (Younger Dryas) and 8230 14 C yr BP. Soil erosion caused by forest clearing and agricultural tillage increased lead deposition after 5320 14C yr BP. Increasing lead/scandium and decreasing lead-206/lead-207 beginning 3000 14C yr BP indicate the beginning of lead pollution from mining and smelting, and anthropogenic sources have dominated lead emissions ever since. The greatest lead flux (15.7 milligrams per square meter per year in A.D. 1979) was 1570 times the natural, background value (0.01 milligram per square meter per year from 8030 to 5320 14C yr BP).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1635-1640
Number of pages6
JournalScience
Volume281
Issue number5383
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Multidisciplinary

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