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Evidence of global pollution and recent environmental change in Kamchatka, Russia

Jones, VJ; Rose, NL; Self, AE; Solovieva, N; Yang, H; (2015) Evidence of global pollution and recent environmental change in Kamchatka, Russia. Global and Planetary Change , 134 pp. 82-90. 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2015.02.005. Green open access

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Abstract

Kamchatka is a remote, isolated and understudied area and is presumed to be pristine. Here we present the first high-resolution palaeolimnological investigation of the recent past. A short core representing the last 250. years was taken from Olive-backed Lake situated in central Kamchatka. Lead-210 dating revealed that sediment accumulation has increased at the site since the 1960s and may be related to greater rates of catchment erosion associated with wetter winters in the region. Mercury and spheroidal carbonaceous particle (an unambiguous indicator of fossil fuel combustion) concentrations are low but clearly detectable indicating that both regional and global pollution sources are observed at this site. The recent increase in the flux of mercury is more related to catchment sources and catchment erosion than increases from regional or global sources. The diatom and chironomid populations are stable and do not show any statistically significant changes related to either the low levels of pollution, or to temperature and precipitation changes. The lake is not pristine since anthropogenic contamination has occurred but since there have been no significant effects on the flora and fauna the lake can be considered to be unimpacted. Olive-backed Lake may be a suitable reference site to benchmark the natural variability of a lake ecosystem.

Type: Article
Title: Evidence of global pollution and recent environmental change in Kamchatka, Russia
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2015.02.005
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2015.02.005
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Chironomid, Diatom, Kamchatka, Mercury, Pollution, Spheroidal carbonaceous particles
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1462365
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