Origin of rare earth element anomalies in mangrove sediments, Sepetiba Bay, SE Brazil: used as geochemical tracers of sediment sources
Silva-Filho, EV, Sanders, CJ, Bernat, M, Figueiredo, AMG, Sella, SM & Wasserman 2011, 'Origin of rare earth element anomalies in mangrove sediments, Sepetiba Bay, SE Brazil: used as geochemical tracers of sediment sources', Environmental Earth Sciences, vol. 64, no. 5, pp. 1257-1267.
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Elemental contents were determined in two mangrove habitats along Sepetiba Bay, SE Brazil, an area impacted by local industrial activities, as well as hinterland water diversion networks. This study demonstrates how specific REEs (La, Ce, Nd, Sm, Eu, Tb, Yb and Lu) may be used as a sediment source tracer to mangrove-dominated coastlines. From the two stations studied, a pair of cores was collected, one in the mangrove forest and the other in the tidal flat. Station 1 results show a general enrichment in most of the fractioned patterns of the REEs normalised by Post-Archean Australian Shale. The relatively light rare earth elements are similarly enriched in the generally more polluted Station 1. Despite the probable difference in background sediment characteristics, a common sharp increase in mud contents patterns in the upper part of the mangrove sediment core was related to a lower REE content as well as Eu anomalies. With existing knowledge of clockwise water circulation in the bay, these patterns can be explained by man-made water diversion from the São Francisco and Guandu rivers, initiated more than 30 years ago, whereby suspended matter with relatively large contents of REEs and material originating from industrial sources accumulate in the eastern sector of the bay. This is the first comprehensive assessment of REEs as sedimentary tracers in a mangrove ecosystem in Brazil.