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Title: Radionuclide tracer study of heavy metal cycling in Loch Etive, Scotland
Author: Young, Stuart Andrew
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1996
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Seasonal variations in the behaviour of particle reactive heavy metals in Loch Etive, a fjordic estuary on the West Coast of Scotland, have been investigated using the natural radioactive tracers 210Pb, 210Po and 234 Th. A multi-sample (water column samples; sediment traps; short sediment cores) time-series (monthly sampling for eighteen months) study is reported for one station in a stagnant, 140 m deep, basin. In all water samples the distinction between particulate and dissolved was made by filtering through 0.45μm filters. Emphasis has been placed on assessing the post-depositional mobility of Pb in organic-rich, high sedimentation-rate, coastal sediments. There was no renewal of the water in the deep basin during the study period, and the dissolved oxygen concentration gradually fell, to ~2.4 ml-1. River and rainwater samples were analysed for 210Pb and 210Po in order to determine their input fluxes into Loch Etive. The mean particulate, dissolved and total 210Pb riverine concentrations were 0.43±0.33, 1.14±0.93 and 1.30±1.09 Bq m-3 respectively. The similar 210Po concentrations were 1.77±1.39, 2.60±0.93 and 4.21±3.01 Bq m-3 respectively. The total riverine 210Pb and 210Po flux, averaged over the whole surface of Loch Etive, was 149±125 and 483±345 Bq m-2 year-1 respectively. The mean rainwater total 210Pb and 210Po activities of 53.8±15.2 and 97.5±107 Bq m-3 respectively, result in mean depositional fluxes to Loch Etive of 118±33.5 and 214±235 Bq m-2 year-1 respectively. The relative importance of the riverine input reflects Loch Etive's large catchment area (~2000 km3). Water column particulate, dissolved and total 210Pb and 210Po concentrations were determined monthly for 17 months. The dissolved/particulate ratio was close to unity, which reflects the large concentration of particulate material in coastal samples. The surface (0-10 m) concentrations, varied greatly, dependent on the amount of run-off in the weeks prior to sampling. The intermediate (10-60 m) and deep (60-120 m) water concentrations were more constant, with 210Pb particulate, dissolved and total means: 0.17±0.09, 0.18±0.14 and 0.36±0.20 Bq m-3 respectively. The corresponding 210Po means were: 0.15±0.07, 0.27±0.19 and 0.42±0.20 Bq m-3 respectively.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available