Records of Holocene climatic fluctuations and anthropogenic lead input in elemental distribution and radiogenic isotopes (Nd and Pb) in sediments of the Gulf of Lions (Southern France)

Type Article
Date 2019-08
Language English
Author(s) Nizou Jean1, 2, Dennielou BernardORCID1, Révillon Sidonie2, 3, Bassetti Maria-Angela4, Jouet Gwenael1, Berné Serge4, Nonnotte Philippe3, Liorzou Celine3
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER Unité de Recherche Géosciences Marines, Centre Bretagne – ZI de la Pointe du Diable, France
2 : SEDISOR, IUEM, France
3 : Laboratoire Géosciences Océan LGO UMR 6538, Université de Brest, CNRS, Université Bretagne Loire, Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer, France
4 : Université de Perpignan, CEFREM, UMR 5110, France
Source Holocene (0959-6836) (SAGE Publications), 2019-08 , Vol. 29 , N. 8 , P. 1292-1304
DOI 10.1177/0959683619846973
Keyword(s) Holocene, marine mud belt, medieval lead contamination, Roman lead contamination, sediment source fingerprinting, south of France
Abstract

Marine mud belts represent potential continuous high-resolution climatic, environmental and anthropogenic archives. In this study, a geochemical record of the Gulf of Lions mud belt, which receives sediments from the Rhône watershed and to a lesser extent from the Languedoc region, is reported from Core KSGC-31. The effects of natural climatic changes and possible anthropogenic disturbances on Holocene sedimentation were ascertained by analysing sedimentation rates, chemical weathering (Al2O3/K2O) and sediment-source shifts (neodymium isotopic ratios; εNd). Measurements of elemental and isotopic lead were used to trace the source and determine the potential vectors of anthropogenic contaminations over the Holocene. High εNd values, recorded from 9000 to 3000 calibrated annum before present (cal. a BP) and around 1500 and 600 cal. a BP, are interpreted as an increase in sediment transport from the Alpine crystalline massifs to the sea induced by enhanced hydro-sedimentary conditions upstream. During the early and middle Holocene, low and stable weathering conditions were persistent, while the late Holocene was characterized by higher and more fluctuating weathering conditions. Sudden changes in the 206Pb/207Pb ratio observed during the Roman and Medieval periods suggest clear shifts in lead source from a natural Holocene background to late Holocene anthropogenic contaminations. Even though those shifts are coeval with atmospheric lead contaminations from Spain and Germany recorded in several sediment and ice archives, the local origin (the Cévennes) and the fluvial contamination is more likely in these cases. Those findings are contemporaneous with historical mining records in the Cévennes and point to an intensification of the merchant shipping.

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Nizou Jean, Dennielou Bernard, Révillon Sidonie, Bassetti Maria-Angela, Jouet Gwenael, Berné Serge, Nonnotte Philippe, Liorzou Celine (2019). Records of Holocene climatic fluctuations and anthropogenic lead input in elemental distribution and radiogenic isotopes (Nd and Pb) in sediments of the Gulf of Lions (Southern France). Holocene, 29(8), 1292-1304. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1177/0959683619846973 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00498/60951/