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Long-Range Transport of Pollutants to the Falkland Islands and Antarctica: Evidence from Lake Sediment Fly Ash Particle Records

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journal contribution
posted on 20.02.2016, 11:29 by Neil L. Rose, Vivienne J. Jones, Philippa E. Noon, Dominic A. Hodgson, Roger J. Flower, Peter G. Appleby
210Pb-dated sediment cores taken from lakes on the Falkland Islands, the South Orkney Islands, and the Larsemann Hills in Antarctica were analyzed for fly ash particles to assess the temporal record of contamination from high temperature fossil-fuel combustion sources. Very low, but detectable, levels were observed in the Antarctic lakes. In the Falkland Island lakes, the record of fly ash extended back to the late-19th century and the scale of contamination was considerably higher. These data, in combination with meteorological, modeling, and fossil-fuel consumption data, indicate most likely sources are in South America, probably Chile and Brazil. Other southern hemisphere sources, notably from Australia, contribute to a background contamination and were more important historically. Comparing southern polar data with the equivalent from the northern hemisphere emphasizes the difference in contamination of the two circumpolar regions, with the Falkland Island sites only having a level of contamination similar to that of northern Svalbard.