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Interrogating trees for isotopic archives of atmospheric sulphur deposition and comparison to speleothem records.

Authors
  • Wynn, P M1
  • Loader, N J2
  • Fairchild, I J3
  • 1 Lancaster Environment Centre, University of Lancaster, Lancaster LA1 4YQ, UK. Electronic address: [email protected]
  • 2 Department of Geography, Swansea University, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK.
  • 3 School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, Edgbaston, B15 2TT, UK.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987)
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2014
Volume
187
Pages
98–105
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2013.12.017
PMID: 24463472
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Palaeorecords which depict changes in sulphur dynamics form an invaluable resource for recording atmospheric pollution. Tree rings constitute an archive that are ubiquitously available and can be absolutely dated, providing the potential to explore local- to regional-scale trends in sulphur availability. Rapid isotopic analysis by a novel "on-line" method using elemental analyser isotope ratio mass spectrometry (EA-IRMS) is developed, achieving sample precision of <0.4‰ using sample sizes of 40 mg wood powder. Tree cores from NE Italy show trends in pollution, evidenced through increasing concentrations of sulphur towards the youngest growth, and inverse trends in sulphur isotopes differentiating modern growth with light sulphur isotopes (+0.7‰) from pre-industrial growth (+7.5‰) influenced by bedrock composition. Comparison with speleothem records from the same location demonstrate replication, albeit offset in isotopic value due to groundwater storage. Using EA-IRMS, tree ring archives form a valuable resource for understanding local- to regional-scale sulphur pollution dynamics.

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