Sedimentary geochemical record of human-induced environmental changes in Huanggaihu Lake in the middle reach of the Yangtze River, China
Total organic carbon (TOC), total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP) and heavy metals were determined along with stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen (δ13Corg and δ15N) in an 86 cm sediment core from Huanggaihu Lake, located in the middle reach of the Yangtze River, China. These geochemical and isotopic records provide a continuous history of lake productivity and the trophic state of Huanggaihu Lake over the past 150 years. Before the 1960s, organic matter, nutrients and heavy metal contents were low, revealing the low trophic state and pollution inputs at Huanggaihu Lake. High sediment mass accumulation rates and low clay content suggested increased catchment erosion related to human activities such as railway construction and forest clearing during the 1910s-1940s in the catchment area. Since the 1960s, TOC, TN and δ15N have increased along with decreased δ13Corg, indicating an increase in the primary productivity of Huanggaihu Lake. After the year 2000, the TOC, TN and TP decreased or remained stable, and the δ13Corg and δ15N dropped slightly, indicating minor improvement in the lake’s water quality.
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Copyright (c) 2014 Shuchun Yao, Bin Xue
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