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The lead (Pb) isotope signature, behaviour and fate of traffic-related lead pollution in roadside soils in The Netherlands

Abstract : n this study the origin, behaviour and fate of anthropogenic Pb in sandy roadside soils were assessed by measuring soil characteristics, Pb isotope composition and content. In 1991 and 2003 samples were taken at different depth intervals at approximately 8 and 75 m from two highways in The Netherlands. The Pb isotope composition of the litter layer (Pb-206/Pb-207 = 1.12-1.14) differs from the deeper soil samples (Pb-206/Pb-207 = 1.20-1.21). Based on a mixing model it is concluded that the samples contain two Pb sources: natural Pb and anthropogenic Pb, the latter mainly derived from gasoline. Pb-206/Pb-207 ratios demonstrate that the roadside soils were polluted to a depth of similar to 15 cm. Within this depth interval, anthropogenic Pb content is associated with organic matter. Although Pb pollution only reached a depth of similar to 15 cm, this does not mean that the topsoils retain all anthropogenic Pb. Due to the low pH and negligible binding capacity of soils at depths >15 cm, anthropogenic Pb migrated towards groundwater after reaching depths of >15 cm. The Pb isotope composition of the groundwater (Pb-206/Pb-207 = 1.135-1.185) establishes that groundwater is polluted with anthropogenic Pb. The contribution of anthropogenic Pb to the groundwater varies between similar to 30 and 100%. Based on the difference in soil Pb content and Pb isotope compositions over a period of 12 years, downward Pb migration is calculated to vary from 72 +/- 95 to 324 +/- 279 mg m(-2) y(-1). Assuming that the downward Pb flux is constant over time, it is calculated that 35-90% of the atmospherically delivered Pb has migrated to the groundwater.
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Contributeur : Anne-Marie Pouget <>
Soumis le : mercredi 15 juillet 2015 - 16:43:15
Dernière modification le : mardi 11 février 2020 - 12:06:13




N. Walraven, B.J.H. van Os, Gérard Klaver, J. J. Middelburg, G.R. Davies. The lead (Pb) isotope signature, behaviour and fate of traffic-related lead pollution in roadside soils in The Netherlands. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2014, 472, pp.888-900. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.11.110⟩. ⟨hal-01176672⟩



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