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See detailAnthropogenic impacts in North Poland over the last 1300 years -- A record of Pb, Zn, Cu, Ni and S in an ombrotrophic peat bog
De Vleeschouwer, François ULg; Fagel, Nathalie ULg; Cheburkin, Andriy et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2009)

Lead pollution history over Northern Poland was reconstructed for the last ca. 1300 years using the elemental and Pb isotope geochemistry of a dated Polish peat bog. The data show that Polish Pb–Zn ores ... [more ▼]

Lead pollution history over Northern Poland was reconstructed for the last ca. 1300 years using the elemental and Pb isotope geochemistry of a dated Polish peat bog. The data show that Polish Pb–Zn ores and coal were the main sources of Pb, other heavy metals and S over Northern Poland up until the industrial revolution. After review of the potential mobility of each element, most of the historical interpretation was based on Pb and Pb isotopes, the other chemical elements (Zn, Cu, Ni, S) being considered secondary indicators of pollution. During the last century, leaded gasoline also contributed to anthropogenic Pb pollution over Poland. Coal and Pb–Zn ores, however, remained important sources of pollution in Eastern European countries during the last 50 years, as demonstrated by a high 206Pb/207Pb ratio (1.153)relative to that of Western Europe (ca. 1.10). The Pb data for the last century were also in good agreement with modelled Pb inventories over Poland and the Baltic region. [less ▲]

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See detailMultiproxy evidence of `Little Ice Age' palaeoenvironmental changes in a peat bog from northern Poland
De Vleeschouwer, François ULg; Piotrowska, Natalia; Sikorski, Jaroslaw et al

in Holocene (2009), 19(4), 625-637

`Little Ice Age' (LIA) climatic deteriorations have been abundantly documented in various archives such as ice, lake sediments and peat bog deposits. Palaeoecological analyses of peat samples have ... [more ▼]

`Little Ice Age' (LIA) climatic deteriorations have been abundantly documented in various archives such as ice, lake sediments and peat bog deposits. Palaeoecological analyses of peat samples have identified these climatic deteriorations using a range of techniques, for example palynology, plant macrofossils, testate amoebae or carbon isotopic analyses. The use of inorganic geochemistry and the reconstruction of dust fluxes has remained a challenge in tracing the nature of LIA climatic changes. Although the idea of enhanced erosion conditions and storminess is commonly discussed, the conditions for dust deposition in peatlands over Europe during the LIA are rarely favourable, because the natural forest cover over Europe was much more important than nowadays, preventing dust deposition. This intense forest canopy masks the deposition of dust in peatlands. In northern Poland, near the Baltic shore, the S[l]owi[n]skie B[l]ota area was deforested around AD 1100, ie, just before the LIA, and therefore constitutes a key area for the reconstruction of LIA climatic change. With the support of a well-constrained chronology, climatic fluctuations are recorded in an ombrotrophic bog using inorganic geochemistry, plant macrofossils and carbon isotopic analyses. The reconstruction of LIA climatic changes is in good agreement with other records from Poland and NE Europe. However, a c. 50-year discrepancy can be observed between various records. This discrepancy is possibly due to progressive time-dependent cooling gradient from north to south Europe. [less ▲]

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See detailGeochemical and Pb isotopic signature of peaty sediments from central-south Chile: Identification of particle supplies over the Holocene
De Vleeschouwer, François ULg; Ibanez, Maud; Mattielli, Nadine et al

in Journal of the Chilean Chemical Society [=JCCS] (2008), 53(3), 1640-1649

Two cores from tephra rich peat soils of the Chilean Lake District were investigated for mineral source and potential anthropogenic impact using elemental geochemistry, including rare earth elements, and ... [more ▼]

Two cores from tephra rich peat soils of the Chilean Lake District were investigated for mineral source and potential anthropogenic impact using elemental geochemistry, including rare earth elements, and lead isotopes. The dominant particle source to the area are the Trumaos which are the local ando soils derived from the weathering of volcanic deposits. In Galletue, although short term events of enhanced particle inputs occur, elemental and isotopic signatures show that the Trumaos are the only particle source to the area. In San Pablo de Tregua, punctual events of crustal particle inputs are recorded in Pb enrichment factors and isotopic profiles, reflecting a long range crustal involvement. This site also records the inception of the anthropogenic in the area in recent samples of which Pb enrichment factors and lead isotopic signatures shift drastically. [less ▲]

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See detailLong term mobilisation of chemical elements in tephra-rich peat (NE Iceland)
De Vleeschouwer, François ULg; Lanoe, Brigitte Van Vliet; Fagel, Nathalie ULg

in Applied Geochemistry (2008), 23(12), 3819-3839

This paper presents geochemical profiles of a tephra-bearing minerotrophic peat column from NE-Iceland obtained using various elemental analyses of the solid phase and the pore water. The influence of ... [more ▼]

This paper presents geochemical profiles of a tephra-bearing minerotrophic peat column from NE-Iceland obtained using various elemental analyses of the solid phase and the pore water. The influence of tephra grain size, thickness and composition of each tephra on the peat geochemistry was investigated. Interpretations are supported by a statistical approach, in particular by autocorrelation, and by microscopy observations. Minerotrophic peat geochemistry may be strongly dependent upon post-depositional mobilization and possible leaching of elements as demonstrated by Fe and trace metal concentration profiles. Chemical elements, and more specifically potentially harmful metals, can be slowly leached out of volcanic falls during their weathering and re-accumulate downwards. It is emphasised that a tephra deposit can act as an active geochemical barrier, blocking downward elemental movements and leading to the formation of enriched layers. In this study, the formation of poorly amorphous Fe phases above the Hekla 3 tephra is shown. These poorly crystalline Fe phases scavenged Ni. (c) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailRoman road pollution assessed by elemental and lead isotope geochemistry in East Belgium
Renson, Virginie; Fagel, Nathalie ULg; Mattielli, Nadine et al

in Applied Geochemistry (2008), 23(12), 3253-3266

The ability of inorganic geochemistry to record environmental change and especially human impact has been evidenced by several studies across Europe, especially in peat, where it is possible to record the ... [more ▼]

The ability of inorganic geochemistry to record environmental change and especially human impact has been evidenced by several studies across Europe, especially in peat, where it is possible to record the impact of agriculture, mining and other industries. However, despite the numerous investigations on the impact of ancient human activities such as ore mining and smelting, little attention has been paid to geochemistry as a tool to solve problems of palaeopollution in the surroundings of archaeological sites. This paper presents geochemical evidence of the impact of a possible early Roman road built in SE Belgian peatland. Increased Zn and Pb concentrations suggest that Pb-Zn ores were transported on the road, Lead isotope analyses suggest that these ores are locally derived, being compatible with those found in the nearby Pb-Zn ore deposits from East Belgium. Present results provide direct evidence that East Belgian Pb-Zn ores were already being mined during Roman times, i.e. earlier than previously suspected (i.e. 14th century) and that Zn appears to be relatively immobile here. On a broader scale, it also demonstrates that such an early road already had an impact on the environment in terms of metal pollution. This paper enlarges on the range of possibilities offered by geochemistry in the field of geoarchaeology. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment and application of high-resolution petrography on resin-impregnated Holocene peat columns to detect and analyse tephras, cryptotephras, and other materials
De Vleeschouwer, François ULg; van Vliet-Lanoe, Brigitte; Fagel, Nathalie ULg et al

in Quaternary International (2008), 178

We describe the potential for high-resolution detection, observation and chemical analysis of tephras and cryptotephras in freeze-dried and resin-impregnated peat sections. Special attention is drawn to ... [more ▼]

We describe the potential for high-resolution detection, observation and chemical analysis of tephras and cryptotephras in freeze-dried and resin-impregnated peat sections. Special attention is drawn to tephra grain alteration products, sensitive to standard lab treatment, but preserved using an impregnation technique developed here. Resulting blocks and thin sections provide a continuous archive of tephras that can be investigated through a wide range of non-destructive techniques encompassing polarising and fluorescence microscopy, scanning electron microscopy with/without elemental analysis, and XRF-based core scanning. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailGeochemical and Pb isotopic investigations in peat bogs from Southern Chile: Identification of particles supplies and possible paleoclimate record
De Vleeschouwer, François ULg; Ibanez, M.; Mattielli, N. et al

in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta (2004), 68(11), 478-478

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