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TitleLake-sediment record of PAH, mercury, and fly-ash particle deposition near coal-fired power plants in Central Alberta, Canada
AuthorBarst, B D; Ahad, J M EORCID logo; Rose, N; Jautzy, J JORCID logo; Drevnick, P E; Gammon, P R; Sanei, HORCID logo; Savard, M MORCID logo
SourceEnvironmental Pollution vol. 231, 2017 p. 644-653, Open Access logo Open Access
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20160127
PublisherElsevier BV
Mediaon-line; digital; paper
File formatpdf
AreaEdmonton; Wabamun; Hasse Lake
Lat/Long WENS-114.3333 -114.0000 54.0000 53.1667
Subjectsmercury; pollutants; pollution; lacustrine deposits; stable isotope studies; environmental impacts; Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); Spheroidal carbonaceous particles
Illustrationslocation maps; graphs
ProgramEnvironmental Geoscience Sources
Released2017 08 29
AbstractWe report a historical record of atmospheric deposition in dated sediment cores from Hasse Lake, ideally located near both currently and previously operational coal-fired power plants in Central Alberta, Canada. Accumulation rates of spheroidal carbonaceous particles (SCPs), an unambiguous marker of hightemperature fossil-fuel combustion, in the early part of the sediment record (pre-1955) compared
well with historical emissions from one of North America's earliest coal-fired power plants (Rossdale) located ~43 km to the east in the city of Edmonton. Accumulation rates in the latter part of the record (post-1955) suggested inputs from the Wabamun region's plants situated ~17e25 km to the west. Increasing accumulation rates of SCPs, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and Hg coincided with the previously documented period of peak pollution in the Wabamun region during the late 1960s to early 1970s, although Hg deposition trends were also similar to those found in western North American lakes not directly affected by point sources. A noticeable reduction in contaminant inputs during the 1970s is attributed in part to technological improvements and stricter emission controls. The over one hundred-year historical record of coal-fired power plant emissions documented in Hasse Lake sediments has provided insight into the impact that both environmental regulations and changes in electricity output have had over time. This information is crucial to assessing the current and future role of coal in the world's energy supply.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Spheroidal carbonaceous particles (SCPs), an unambiguous marker of high-temperature fossil-fuel combustion, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and mercury (Hg) were measured in dated sediment cores from Hasse Lake, central Alberta, to evaluate temporal trends in atmospheric contamination related to the region's coal-fired power plants. Accumulation rates of SCPs in the early part of the record (pre-1955) compare well with the urban history of Edmonton to the east of the lake, whereas accumulation rates in the latter part of the record (post-1955) suggest inputs from coal-fired power plants in the Wabamun region to the west of the lake. Increasing accumulation rates of SCPs, PAHs, and Hg coincide with the period of peak pollution during the late 1960s and early 1970s in the Wabumun region.

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