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Title: Accurate analysis and environmental geochemistry of inorganic elements in peat bogs
Author: Yafa, Charun
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2004
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The work described in this thesis is primarily concerned with (i) the development of analytical methods for the determination of inorganic elements in peat, (ii) the production and analysis of a certified peat reference material, and (iii) the application of methods and procedures to the generation and interpretation of elemental profiles in cores from the largest ombrotrophic peat bog in Scotland. The effects of sample preparation on the determination of inorganic elements in peak samples were thoroughly investigated. The analytical methods and quality assurance procedures developed using the certified reference material were applied to the analysis of two Flanders Moss peat cores that had been collected by different coring techniques. An offset between the elemental profiles of the two cores was attributed to loss of surface material in the case of one, confirmed by stable (206Pb/207Pb) and radioactive (210Pb) isotopic analysis. The depth profiles of the various elements were interpreted in terms of influences such as nutrient uptake and recycling, anthropogenic inputs from industry, energy generation and transport, soil dust, and post-depositional remobilisation and redistribution. For Pb, for which a record for atmospheric deposition was retained, the relative contributions of different sources (e.g. smelting, coal combustion, car-exhaust emissions) during the industrial era were assessed using Pb concentration and 206Pb/207Pb ratio variations in 210Pb-dated peat. The importance of atmospheric Pb deposition prior to the introduction of leaded petrol was confirmed and, in the more distant past, a small Pb peak at a depth of ~1 m was tentatively attributed to Pb mining and smelting activities during the period of the Roman Empire.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available