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How significant is atmospheric metal contamination from mining activity adjacent to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area? A spatial analysis of metal concentrations using air trajectories models

Schneider, Larissa; Mariani, Michela; Michael-Shawn Fletcher Atun Zawadzki Henk Heijnis Simon G. Haberle, Jennifer J. Harrison; Saunders, Krystyna M.; Maher, William A.; Harrison, Jennifer J.; Fletcher, Michael-Shawn; Zawadzki, Atun; Heijnis, Henk; Haberle, Simon G.

Authors

Larissa Schneider

Jennifer J. Harrison Michael-Shawn Fletcher Atun Zawadzki Henk Heijnis Simon G. Haberle

Krystyna M. Saunders

William A. Maher

Jennifer J. Harrison

Michael-Shawn Fletcher

Atun Zawadzki

Henk Heijnis

Simon G. Haberle



Abstract

This study investigated metal contamination from historical mining in lakes in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) and surrounding region. The largest increase in sedimentation and metal contamination occurred ca. 1930 when open-cut mining commenced and new mining technology was introduced into the region. The geochemical signal of lake sediments changed from reflecting the underlying geology and lithology to that reflecting mining activities. The HYSPLIT air particle trajectory model explains metal distribution in the lakes, with those in the northwest region closest to the mines having the highest metal contamination. Lake metal concentrations since mining activities commenced are in the order: Owen Tarn > Basin Lake > Perched Lake > Lake Dove > Lake Dobson > Lake Cygnus, with Perched Lake and Lakes Dove, Dobson and Cygnus in the TWWHA. Metal contamination affected centres up to 130 km down-wind of mining sites. Enrichment factors (EF) for Pb, Cu, As and Cd are >1 for all lakes, with Owen Tarn and Basin Lake having very high EFs for Cu and Pb (98 and 91, respectively). Pb, Cu, As and Cd concentrations are above the Australia/New Zealand lower sediment guidelines, with Pb, Cu and As above the high guidelines in Owen Tarn and Basin Lake. This study demonstrated the legacy of metal contamination in the TWWHA by mining activities and the consequences of a lack of execution of environmental regulations by past governments in Tasmania.

Citation

Schneider, L., Mariani, M., Michael-Shawn Fletcher Atun Zawadzki Henk Heijnis Simon G. Haberle, J. J. H., Saunders, K. M., Maher, W. A., Harrison, J. J., …Haberle, S. G. (2019). How significant is atmospheric metal contamination from mining activity adjacent to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area? A spatial analysis of metal concentrations using air trajectories models. Science of the Total Environment, 656, 250-260. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.11.241

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 16, 2018
Online Publication Date Nov 17, 2018
Publication Date Mar 15, 2019
Deposit Date Feb 4, 2019
Publicly Available Date Nov 18, 2019
Journal Science of the Total Environment
Print ISSN 0048-9697
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 656
Pages 250-260
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.11.241
Keywords Environmental Engineering; Waste Management and Disposal; Pollution; Environmental Chemistry
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1517944
Publisher URL https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969718345996
Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: How significant is atmospheric metal contamination from mining activity adjacent to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area? A spatial analysis of metal concentrations using air trajectories models; Journal Title: Science of The Total Environment; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.11.241; Content Type: article; Copyright: © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.