Energy and Environment

Atmospheric pollutants and trace gases: Atmospheric supply of trace elements studied by peat samples from ombrotrophic bogs

Steinnes, E. , Hvatum, O.Ø. , Bølviken, B. , Varskog, P.
Journal of environmental quality, Vol. 34, no. 1 (2005), 192-197
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Concentrations of Fe and 12 trace elements in peat from ombrotrophic bogs were used to estimate the atmospheric deposition of these elements on a temporal and spatial scale. Peat samples were collected at 21 different sites in Norway encompassing large geographical differences in marine influence and air pollution. The study demonstrates that surface peat is an excellent medium to study geographical differences in heavy metal deposition, provided that effects of the surface plant cover are properly considered. Long-range atmospheric transport of pollutants is the main source for As, Cd, Fb, Sb, and Zn, and to a lesser extent for Cu and Se. Biogenic emissions from the ocean appear to be the main source of Se to the peat. The metals Co, Cr, Fe, and Ni are mainly associated with windblown local soil dust. Surface enrichment of Mn, and in part Zn, is mainly caused by nutrient circulation between the surface peat and vascular plants growing on it. Deposition of marine salts appears to be the main reason for lower Mn concentrations in the peat near the coast.