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Quantifying sediment sources in a lowland agricultural catchment pond using $^{137}$Cs activities and radiogenic $^{87}$Sr/ $^{86}$Sr ratios

Abstract : Soil erosion often supplies high sediment loads to rivers, degrading water quality and contributing to the siltation of reservoirs and lowland river channels. These impacts are exacerbated in agricultural catchments where modifications in land management and agricultural practices were shown to accelerate sediment supply. In this study, sediment sources were identified with a novel tracing approach combining cesium (137Cs) and strontium isotopes (87Sr/86Sr) in the Louroux pond, at the outlet of a lowland cultivated catchment (24 km2, Loire River basin, France) representative of drained agricultural areas of Northwestern Europe. Surface soil (n = 36) and subsurface channel bank (n = 17) samples were collected to characterize potential sources. Deposited sediment (n = 41) was sampled across the entire surface of the pond to examine spatial variation in sediment deposits. In addition, a 1.10 m sediment core was sampled in the middle of the pond to reconstruct source variations throughout time. 137Cs was used to discriminate between surface and subsurface sources, whereas 87Sr/86Sr ratios discriminated between lithological sources. A distribution modeling approach quantified the relative contribution of these sources to the sampled sediment. Results indicate that surface sources contributed to the majority of pond (μ 82%, σ 1%) and core (μ 88%, σ 2%) sediment with elevated subsurface contributions modeled near specific sites close to the banks of the Louroux pond. Contributions of the lithological sources were well mixed in surface sediment across the pond (i.e., carbonate sediment contribution, μ 48%, σ 1% and non-carbonate sediment contribution, μ 52%, σ 3%) although there were significant variations of these source contributions modeled for the sediment core between 1955 and 2013. These fluctuations reflect both the progressive implementation of land consolidation schemes in the catchment and the eutrophication of the pond. This original sediment fingerprinting study demonstrates the potential of combining radionuclide and strontium isotopic geochemistry measurements to quantify sediment sources in cultivated catchments.
Keywords : Panoply
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Contributeur : Anne-Marie Pouget <>
Soumis le : mercredi 27 mai 2020 - 07:34:00
Dernière modification le : lundi 7 septembre 2020 - 16:22:02


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Marion Le Gall, O. Evrard, Anthony Foucher, J. Patrick Laceby, Sébastien Salvador-Blanes, et al.. Quantifying sediment sources in a lowland agricultural catchment pond using $^{137}$Cs activities and radiogenic $^{87}$Sr/ $^{86}$Sr ratios. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2016, 566-567, pp.968 - 980. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.05.093⟩. ⟨hal-01691249⟩



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