Pb-210 and compositional data of sediments from Rondonian lakes, Madeira River basin, Brazil

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Elsevier B.V.



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Gold exploration has been intensive in Brazilian Amazon over the last 40 years, where the use of mercury as an amalgam has caused abnormal Hg concentrations in water bodies. Special attention has been directed to Madeira River due to fact it is a major tributary of Amazon River and that since 1986, gold exploration has been officially permitted along a 350 km sector of the river. The Pb-210 method has been used to date sediments taken from nine lakes situated in Madeira River basin, Rondonia State, and to verify where anthropogenic Hg might exist due to gold exploitation in Madeira River. Activity profiles of excess Pb-210 determined in the sediment cores provided a means to evaluate the sedimentation rates using a Constant Flux: Constant Sedimentation (CF:CS) and Constant Rate of Supply (CRS) of unsupported/excess Pb-210 models. A significant relationship was found between the CF:CS sedimentation rates and the mean values of the CRS sedimentation rates (Pearson correlation coefficient r=0.59). Chemical data were also determined in the sediments for identifying possible relationships with Hg occurring in the area. Significant values were found in statistical correlation tests realized among the Hg, major oxides and Total Organic Carbon (TOC) content in the sediments. The TOC increased in the sediment cores accompanied by a loss on ignition (LOI) increment, whereas silica decreased following a specific surface area raising associated to the TOC increase. The CRS model always provided ages within the permitted range of the 210Pb-method in the studied lakes, whereas the CF:CS model predicted two values above 140 years.




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Applied Radiation And Isotopes. Oxford: Pergamon-elsevier Science Ltd, v. 99, p. 5-19, 2015.

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