Floodplain lakes as sinks for sediment-associated contaminants - A new source of proxy hydrological data?

L. T. Winter, I. D.L. Foster, S. M. Charlesworth, J. A. Lees

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    Lake and reservoir sediments often contain valuable records of sediment yield history and sediment-associated nutrient and contaminant transport spanning timescales from decades to millennia. Nevertheless, there have been few attempts to evaluate floodplain lakes as a source of proxy hydrological data for reconstructing short-term trends in sediment-associated nutrient and contaminant transport. Results from an analysis of floodplain lake sediment cores suggested good preservation of the 137Cs record, which provided an absolute dating control. Changes in the concentration of sediment-associated heavy metals and phosphorus were observed downcore and the analysis of mineral magnetic properties and particle size were used to identify the influx of sediment associated with high magnitude, low frequency flood events. Although floodplain lake-sediments only preserve a partial record, they may provide a valuable source of proxy hydrological data for reconstructing trends in sediment and sediment-associated contaminant transport where long-term sediment monitoring programmes are not available.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)187-194
    Number of pages8
    JournalScience of the Total Environment
    Issue number1-3
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2001



    • Cs dating
    • Floodplain lakes
    • Sediment-associated contaminants

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Environmental Engineering
    • Environmental Chemistry
    • Waste Management and Disposal
    • Pollution

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