Coral-based history of lead and lead isotopes of the surface Indian Ocean since the mid-20th century
Boyle, Edward A.
Nurhati, Intan Suci
Date of Issue2014
Anthropogenic lead (Pb) from industrial activities has greatly altered the distribution of Pb in the present-day oceans, but no continuous temporal Pb evolution record is available for the Indian Ocean despite rapidly emerging industries around the region. Here, we present the coral-inferred annual history of Pb concentration and isotope ratios in the surface Indian Ocean since the mid-20th century (1945–2010). We analyzed Pb in corals from the Chagos Archipelago, western Sumatra and Strait of Singapore – which represent the central Indian Ocean via nearshore sites. Overall, coral Pb/Ca increased in the mid-1970s at all the sites. However, coral Pb isotope ratios evolve distinctively at each site, suggesting Pb contamination arises from different sources in each case. The major source of Pb in the Chagos coral appears to be India's Pb emission from leaded gasoline combustion and coal burning, whereas Pb in western Sumatra seems to be largely affected by Indonesia's gasoline Pb emission with additional Pb inputs from other sources. Pb in the Strait of Singapore has complex sources and its isotopic composition does not reflect Pb from leaded gasoline combustion. Higher 206Pb/207Pb and 208Pb/207Pb ratios found at this site may reflect the contribution of Pb from coals and ores from southern China, Indonesia, and Australia, and local Pb sources in the Strait of Singapore. It is also possible that the Pb isotope ratios of Singapore seawater were elevated through isotope exchange with natural fluvial particles considering its delta setting.
Earth and planetary science letters
© 2014 Elsevier B.V. This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Elsevier B.V. It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2014.04.030].