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Abstract

Lake sediments represent an historical store of a catchment basin, collecting all the gaseous, liquid and solid contaminants that are produced mainly inside. Chemical analysis carried out on sediment samples allows a rebuilding in detail, of the past story, the vicissitudes and the social-economical-political changes that have happened in the hinterland of the lake, supplying useful information that can be used for better managementof the territory future. In two adjoining lakes, inside the CCR Ispra, two sediment cores having lengths of 30.5 and 29 cm, have been collected and subsequently sliced to form discs of the thickness of 0.5 cm. Their analysis has revealed the story of the last 100 years, approximately the period covered by two sediment cores. A deposition rate of 0.28-0.29 cm/year has been calculated by the use of radioelement {137}Cs. The sediments recorded faithfully the first nuclear explosions that happened between 1947-48, and the Chernobyl accident of 1986. Besides the deposition rate using {137}Cs, this investigation has taken into consideration the total concentration of the following elements:
- macroelements: Al, Ca, Fe, K, Mg, Na, Si, and Ti
- nutrients: C, N, P and S
- trace elements: Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn.
The concentration distribution of the most elements investigated has been shown to be nearly constant. Exceptions are Cd, Hg, Pb and Cu that show an increase in concentration starting in the 1970s. Such increases are the result of using antiparasitics and fungicidals in agriculture (Cd and Hg), additives in gasoline (Pb) and the use of Cu in the construction of overhead power lines. All the concentrations measured, particularly for the trace elements, are similar with those measured in other lakes of northern Italy. We can deduce that all the activities carried out in the Joint Research Centre of Ispra, beginning in 1959 until the present have been carried out respecting protection of the environment, and have not lead to di

Additional information

Authors: CENCI R M, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra (IT);BIANCHI M, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra (IT);GADDI E, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 20994 IT (2003), 43 pp. Free of charge
Availability: Available from European Commission, JRC Knowledge Management Unit, Ispra (IT) Tel: +39-033278-9843 or +39-033278-9864 Fax: +39-033278-9623 E-mail: jrc-publications-office@ec.europa.eu
Record Number: 200417370 / Last updated on: 2004-02-02
Category: PUBLICATION
Original language: it
Available languages: it