The geochemical history of an upper deltaic plain pending tidal wetland restoration was reconstructed to assess remobilization of redox-sensitive constituents in sediment, identify depositional processes promoting geochemical retention, and determine the extent of contamination with Hg, As, Pb, Cu, and Zn. Three 12-14-m sediment cores were analyzed for bulk sediment geochemistry using ICP-AES. Rather than showing similar stratigraphic and geochemical down-core trends, cores had a unique record indicative of strong spatial gradients in deposition processes. Each strata type (e.g. basal clay, sand channel, distal floodplain, and agriculturally impacted surficial horizon) had a unique geochemical "fingerprint". The agriculturally impacted surficial layer showed high [Hg], [As], and [Pb]. The significance is that a restored upper delta will have a complex geomorphology defying conventional criteria of "success" in a restoration framework. Also, there is a significant risk of generating toxic, bio-available CH 3Hg + that would be hazardous to fish.
- Programområde 5: Natur og klima