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Engelmann Spruce (Picea engelmannii) as a biological monitor of changes in soil metal loading related to past mining activity

Applied Geochemistry

By:
, , and
DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2004.01.022

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Abstract

Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) is the dominant tree species in many abandoned mine areas of the Rocky Mountains. It is long-lived, and therefore, may act as a long term biological monitor of changes in soil chemistry caused by past mining activity. In this study, laser ablation inductively coupled mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS) was used to analyze individual tree rings of Engelmann spruce for Fe, Zn, Cu, Cd, Mn, Pb and Sr concentrations. Cores were obtained from trees growing in tailings-impacted and control (non-tailings impacted) sites near the Waldorf mine (Waldorf, CO, USA). Zinc, Cu, Fe, Cd, Pb and Sr concentrations remained low and consistent over time in the control tree rings. However, in the tailings impacted cores, concentrations of Zn, Cu, Fe and Cd increase significantly in post-mining rings. In addition, Zn, Cu, Fe, and Cd concentrations in pre-mining rings of both the control and tailings impacted cores are similar, indicating that present day soil concentrations of these elements in the control area are a reasonable estimation of background for this area. Lead and Sr concentrations in control and tailings-impacted rings remained similar and relatively constant through time and are not useful in determining changes in soil chemistry due to past mining activity. ?? 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Engelmann Spruce (Picea engelmannii) as a biological monitor of changes in soil metal loading related to past mining activity
Series title:
Applied Geochemistry
DOI:
10.1016/j.apgeochem.2004.01.022
Volume
19
Issue:
9
Year Published:
2004
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Applied Geochemistry
First page:
1367
Last page:
1376
Number of Pages:
10