Trace elements in coralline algae as a new proxy for seawater chemistry and metal pollution - Université de Bretagne Occidentale Access content directly
Journal Articles Chemical Geology Year : 2024

Trace elements in coralline algae as a new proxy for seawater chemistry and metal pollution

Abstract

The abundances of some macronutrients, and trace elements (K, Al, P, V, Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Rb, Sr, Mo, Cs, Ba, Pb, Th, U, Y and REE) were determined in a series of coralline algae (Lithothamnion corallioides) samples (n = 101) collected alive in the Bay of Brest and the Iroise Sea (Western Brittany, NW France), in order to assess the potential of these algae as archives of seawater chemistry and potential metal pollution. REE and Y (REY) patterns are similar in shape to those of local seawater, exhibiting similar La, Ce and Y anomalies, but with abundances ranging between 4 and 5 orders of magnitude higher than seawater values. Variations in La anomalies (La/La* = 1.29-2.08), Y anomalies (Y/Ho = 38.6-55.8), and heavy rare earth enrichments (Prsn/Ersn = 0.22-0.52) are consistent with mixing of seawater with rivers flowing into the Bay of Brest. The behavior of other trace elements, such as Al and Cs, also reflects this mixing. Other parameters and processes can control the abundances of the other elements measured. For example, the presence of organic matter in studied samples controls the abundances of K and Rb. The abundances of base metals (e.g., Co, Ni, Cu) are highly sensitive to the various pollutants present in the Bay of Brest. In particular, the Pb content of coralline algae clearly reflects the pollution caused by mining of a nearby Pb deposit from the 18th to the early 20th century. Our results demonstrate the potential of coralline algae not only for tracing water masses, but also for studying metal pollution.

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Oceanography
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Dates and versions

hal-04567197 , version 1 (03-05-2024)

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Jean-Alix Barrat, Laurent Chauvaud, Erwan Amice, Jacques Grall, Marie-Laure Rouget, et al.. Trace elements in coralline algae as a new proxy for seawater chemistry and metal pollution. Chemical Geology, 2024, 652, pp.122026. ⟨10.1016/j.chemgeo.2024.122026⟩. ⟨hal-04567197⟩
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