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Title: Trace elements in the water column of high-altitude Pyrenean lakes: Impact of local weathering and long-range atmospheric input
Authors: González González, Aridane 
Pokrovsky, Oleg S.
Auda, Yves
Shirokova, Liudmila S.
Rols, Jean Luc
Auguet, Jean Christophe
de Diego, Alberto
Camarero, Luis
UNESCO Clasification: 230331 Química del agua
250814 Aguas superficiales
230318 Metales
250618 Sedimentología
Keywords: Alpine Lakes
Atmospheric Dust
Sulfide, et al
Issue Date: 2024
Journal: Environmental Pollution 
Abstract: High altitude (alpine) lakes are efficient sentinels of environmental processes, including local pollution and long-range atmospheric transfer, because these lakes are highly vulnerable to ongoing climate changes and increasing anthropogenic pressure. Towards improving the knowledge of trace element geochemistry in the water column of alpine lakes, we assessed 64 physico-chemical parameters, including macro- and micronutrients, major and trace element concentrations in the water column of 18 lakes in the Pyrenees, located along the border between France and Spain. Lake depth, morphology, retention time and watershed rock lithology did not exhibit sizable impact on major and trace element concentrations in the water column. However, acidic (pH = 4.7 ± 0.2) lakes were distinctly different from circumneutral lakes (pH = 6.8 ± 0.5) as they exhibited >10 times higher concentrations of SO42− and trace metals (Fe, Mn, Zn, Cd, Pb, Co, Ni, Be, Al, Ga and REEs). While some of these elements clearly mark the presence of sulphide-rich minerals within the watershed (Fe, Zn, Cd and Pb), the increased mobility of lithogenic elements (Be, Al, Ga and REEs) in acidic lakes may reflect the leaching of these elements from silicate dust derived from atmospheric deposits or surrounding granites. At the same time, compared to circumneutral lakes, acidic lake water displayed lower concentrations of dissolved oxyanions (As, Mo, V, B and W) and elevated SO42− concentrations. The latter could lead to efficient Ba removal from the water column. The exploitation of metal ores within the watershed of three lakes clearly impacted high Zn and Cd concentrations observed in their water column, despite two of these lakes not being acidic. We conclude that local impacts have a greater effect on the water column than long-range atmospheric inputs and that dissolved trace element concentration measurements can be used for revealing sulphide-rich minerals or acid mine drainage within the lakes’ watershed.
ISSN: 0269-7491
DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2023.123098
Source: Environmental Pollution [ISSN 0269-7491],v. 342, (Febrero 2024)
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