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Solar irradiance and primary productivity controlled mercury accumulation in sediments of a remote lake in the Southern Hemisphere during the past 4000 years

Title data

Biester, Harald ; Pérez-Rodrigez, Marta ; Gilfedder, Benjamin Silas ; Cortizas, Antonio Martinez ; Hermanns, Yvonne-Marie:
Solar irradiance and primary productivity controlled mercury accumulation in sediments of a remote lake in the Southern Hemisphere during the past 4000 years.
Technische Universität Braunschweig,Institut für Geoökologie, AG Umweltgeochemie
In: Limnology and Oceanography. Vol. 63 (17 March 2018) Issue 2 . - pp. 540-549.
ISSN 1939-5590
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/lno.10647

Project information

Project title:
Project's official titleProject's id
DFG-BI 734/15-1No information

Project financing: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Abstract in another language

Mercury (Hg) is a toxic trace element known to highly accumulate in aquatic biota and uptake by algae is the main entry‐point into the aquatic food chain. However, the effect of changes in solar irradiance and climatic conditions on Hg uptake by algae is largely unknown. We analyzed the link between sediment Hg accumulation, cyclic changes in total solar irradiance (TSI), and related changes in lake productivity as well as climate during the past 4.5 thousand years (kyr) in sediments of a small highly productive lake in Southern Patagonia (53°S). The analyses encompass proxies for TSI (based on 10Be), sediment geochemical composition, and lake productivity (FTIR spectra, and hydrogen‐index). The sediment record shows high concentrations of organic matter (median 70%) and strong variations in Hg accumulation rates (14–53 μg m2 yr−1) which correspond to changes in aquatic productivity and TSI. Accumulation of Hg was highest during dryer periods when irradiance and lake productivity was high. During these periods, accumulation was up to fourfold higher compared to those of lower TSI, lower productivity, and wetter climatic conditions. Higher amounts of algae biomass can increase Hg scavenging by organic particles and Hg export to the sediment. To obtain mass balance, we assume that the increase in sediment Hg accumulation rates during periods of lower Hg fluxes from the catchment (drier) caused a decrease in water phase Hg and in rates of Hg evasion from the lake.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Hydrology > Chair Hydrology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Stefan Peiffer
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 550 Earth sciences, geology
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2020 07:11
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2020 07:11
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/56855