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Lead atmospheric deposition rates and isotopic trends in Asian dust during the last 9.5 kyr recorded in an ombrotrophic peat bog on the eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

Abstract : A full understanding of the atmospheric Pb cycle in Asia during the Holocene is key to palaeoclimate studies of past atmospheric circulation patterns, as well as to assess the impact of increasing industrial activities in this region. However, long-term records of atmospheric Pb isotopic trends in Asia are still sparse. Consequently, we study changes in the concentrations, fluxes and isotopic signature of deposited Pb contained in a 14C-dated peat core from the eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, dating back to 9.5 kyr BP, and present the first peat record of the changing isotopic composition of atmospheric Pb in dust in Asia during this time. Lead concentrations and fluxes vary between 2.96-21.58 lg g 1 and 0.06-3.52 mg m 2 y 1, respectively, with an average Pb baseline of 6.80 ± 4.18 lg g 1. These values agree with other Pb studies of lake and peat archives in China but are one order of magnitude larger than early and mid-Holocene values measured in Europe. Lead isotopic variability throughout the core is small, varying between 206Pb/207Pb = 1.190-1.197, 206Pb/204Pb = 18.648-18.786, 207Pb/204Pb = 15.666-15.694 and 208Pb/204Pb = 38.890-39.090. The application of Bayesian trans-dimensional changepoint modelling to the Pb dataset enabled the identification of eight significant changes in the isotopic composition of the deposited Pb. Such changes mark different phases of atmospheric Pb deposition, and hence variations in atmospheric circulation patterns and environmental conditions. Temporal variations in the potential natural and/or anthropogenic Pb sources are assessed based on the 206Pb, 207Pb, 208Pb and 204Pb isotopic composition and the 1/[Pb] ratio of the peat samples. Our results suggest that Pb deposition throughout the Holocene was governed by local deposition and long-range input from natural dust sources in northwestern (Taklamakan desert and Qaidam basin) and northern China (Badain Jaran and Tengger deserts). Input from the northern sources seems to have been particularly important between 3.1-2.7 kyr BP and 1.7-0.9 kyr BP, suggesting a possible strengthening of the East Asian winter monsoon, in agreement with previous reconstructions in Asia. Based on the Pb/Sc and isotopic composition profiles we do not note any evidence for anthropogenic Pb derived from the thriving mining or smelting activities in northern and eastern China in the last few millennia, suggesting that atmospheric deposition to this region of the eastern Tibetan Plateau was dominated by natural Pb fluxes. These can serve as a true Asian "background" value against which anthropogenic impacts can be quantified. Our results confirm that the combination of radiogenic isotopes (Pb) and trace elements in peat bogs enables observational reconstructions of changes in past regional atmospheric circulation. Such records will enable more refined interpretations of marine and terrestrial palaeorecords in Asia and the Pacific and consequently provide further constraints for changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation and for the testing of palaeoclimate models of circulation patterns.
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Submitted on : Monday, March 5, 2012 - 4:27:26 PM
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Marion Ferrat, Dominik J. Weiss, Shuofei Dong, David J. Large, Baruch Spiro, et al.. Lead atmospheric deposition rates and isotopic trends in Asian dust during the last 9.5 kyr recorded in an ombrotrophic peat bog on the eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Elsevier, 2012, 82, pp.4-22. ⟨10.1016/j.gca.2010.10.031⟩. ⟨insu-00676590⟩



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