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Sci Total Environ. 2008 Dec 15;407(1):405-17. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2008.07.062. Epub 2008 Sep 18.

Influence of liming on metal sequestration in lake sediments over recent decades.

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  • 1Department of Applied Environmental Science, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden.


Sediment profiles from five limed and six reference softwater lakes included in Swedish monitoring programmes were subjected to multi-element analysis to investigate the influence of lime treatment since 1977 on the sequestration of metals in lake sediments. We hypothesised that liming causes increased sedimentation of elements for which the mobility is primarily controlled by pH, e.g. Al, Cd, Co, Ni and Zn, whereas elements that are less influenced by pH fluctuations, e.g. Hg and Pb, are not affected by lime treatment. Further, we introduce a normalisation of metal concentrations with respect to Cu concentration in order to separate the effects of lime treatment from those related to temporal trends in airborne metal deposition or short-term variations in environmental conditions. This approach is shown to emphasise the effect of liming on the sediment accumulation of metals, thus separating it from other sources of variability. We found that liming causes increased sequestration of Al, As, Cd, Co, Fe, Mn, Ni and Zn, in the case of As and Co probably at least partly caused by an increased adsorption to Al, Fe and Mn oxyhydroxides. On the other hand, no influence of lime treatment could be demonstrated for Hg, Pb, Cr, V and P, despite an increase of pH by about two units.

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