The Marais Vernier is the largest freshwater wetland in the Seine Estuary in northern France. It is in a heavily urbanized and industrialized region and could be affected by atmospheric deposition and by fluvial input of contaminants in water diverted from the Seine River. To evaluate contaminant histories in the wetland and the region, sediment cores were collected from two open-water ponds in the Marais Vernier: the Grand-Mare, which was connected to the Seine by a canal from 1950 to 1996, and the Petite Mare, which has a small rural watershed. Diversions from the Seine to the Grand-Mare increased sedimentation rates but mostly resulted in low contaminant concentrations and loading rates, indicating that the sediment from the Seine was predominantly brought upstream by tidal currents from the estuary and was not from the watershed. Atmospheric sources of metals dominate inputs to the Petite Mare; however, runoff of metals from vehicle-related sources in the watershed might contribute to the upward trends in concentrations of Cr, Cu, and Zn. Estimates of atmospheric deposition using the Petite Mare core are consistent with measured deposition in the region and are mixed (similar for Hg and Pb; larger for Cd, Cu, and Zn) compared with deposition estimated from sediment cores in the northeastern United States. A local source of PAHs in the watershed of the Petite Mare is indicated by higher concentrations, higher accumulation rates, and a different, more petrogenic, PAH assemblage than in the Grand-Mare. The study illustrates how diverse sources and transport pathways can affect wetlands in industrial regions and can be evaluated using sediment cores from the wetland ponds. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Additional publication details
Origins of sediment-associated contaminants to the Marais Vernier, the Seine Estuary, France