Investigations de la biogéochimie isotopique du Zn en zones côtières et mangroves

Abstract : Coastal areas worldwide are under strong pressure from anthropogenic contamination, as most of the global population and of economic activities are concentrated along the coasts and estuaries. The threaten of contaminant releasing into these ecosystems makes imperative the development of tools capable of detecting biogeochemical changes in order to help prevention, monitoring and prediction of risks in environmental studies. In this way, this thesis investigates the isotope biogeochemistry of Zinc (Zn) in order to develop a tool capable of tracing natural and anthropogenic sources, identifying biogeochemical processes and enabling the biomonitoring of metal contamination in coastal areas and mangroves. To this end, Zn isotopes compositions were determined in several natural samples collected from Sepetiba bay (southeastern Brazil), an estuarine-lagoon impacted by an industrialized coastal area near Rio de Janeiro. This bay constitutes an ideal natural laboratory for evaluating the Zn isotopic system to environmental issues, since it hosts important ecosystems of commercial and ecological interest - estuaries, mangroves and tidal flats - threaten by the metal contamination resultant of old electroplating activity and other anthropogenic diffuse sources. The collected samples include sediment cores, surface mangrove sediments, suspended particulate matter (SPM), leaves of mangrove's trees, tissues of bivalve mollusks (oysters and mussels) and rocks. Ores from Vazante deposit, Brazil were collected to represent the raw material used in the old electroplating industry. Firstly, an initial laboratory work established a method for accurate and precise determinations of Zn isotope compositions in natural samples by multi-collector inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS). Spatial and temporal analysis of Zn isotope compositions of sediment and rock samples fits well in a model of mixing between three main end-members: i) continental materials brought via rivers; ii) marine sources; and iii) a major anthropogenic source associated to the old electroplating wastes released into the bay. Sediment cores collected in the mud flat showed high correlation between Zn isotope compositions and Zn enrichment factors, suggesting (i) good preservation of isotopic records of natural and anthropogenic sources and (ii) no significant isotopic fractionation during sediment transport or as a result of diagenetic reactions post-deposition in the estuarine system. The sediment core sampled from a mangrove located in the zone impacted by the old electroplating activity presented levels of Zn up to 4% (dry weight) and preserved the isotopic signatures of electroplating wastes. However, there is evidence that biogeochemical processes triggered by hydrodynamics, bioturbation or rhizosphere processes slightly changed the isotopic signatures in some layers. Calculations based in this mixing model quantified contributions of the major anthropogenic source of Zn, ranging from negligible values in the pre-industrial period to nearly 80% during periods of electroplating activities between the 60's and 90's.
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Daniel Ferreira Araujo. Investigations de la biogéochimie isotopique du Zn en zones côtières et mangroves. Earth Sciences. Université Paul Sabatier - Toulouse III, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016TOU30368⟩. ⟨tel-01891905⟩

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