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Title: A comparison of the pollution record of South Merseyside from sediment cores taken from the estuary and a small lake
Author: Hoare, Mary-Jo
ISNI:       0000 0004 2736 3418
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2012
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The ability to assess the contamination of sediments in estuaries and lakes is extremely important. This is because of various factors, both natural (tidal action, chemical remobilisation) and anthropogenic (e.g. building work), that lead to the disturbance of the sediment can result in the remobilisation or resuspension of the pollutants and, if high levels of pollutants are present in ,a region, they can be responsible for a number of health impacts on the local population. The use of sediment cores to investigate the pollution levels in the sediment is a relatively easy method of assessing contamination. The main aims of this study were to investigate pollution in saltmarsh, intertidal and lake sediment cores taken from the South Liverpool area and to attempt to distinguish different pollutant transport pathways between cores. This was done using sediment cores taken from a saltmarsh, intertidal area and lake in ,. South Merseyside and measuring the heavy metal and persistent organic pollutant (P AH and PCB) content using a variety of methods including; X-Ray Fluorescence, Environmental Magnetism, Gas ChromatographylMass Spectrometry and Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrometry. The results showed that, although the pollution input to the region has reduced over the last 30 years, there are still high levels of certain chemicals (including lead, mercury and PCBs) in the environment. The concentrations of the main pollutants (Pb, Zn, Hg, Cd, PCBs and PARs) are above guideline levels that are considered dangerous to aquatic organisms, however with the exception of Cd at Speke, none of the metals are present at a concentration that would be considered dangerous to human health. The main source of pollution to the saltmarsh is aquatic, whilst the main input to the lake core is from atmospheric deposition. From the data acquired for this project it would appear that the core from the Speke Hall Lake location provides a more accurate record of the pollution history of the area than those from the more dynamic saltmarsh environment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral