Metals such as Pb, Zn, Cd and Cu from historical mining activity have been used as stratigraphic markers for dating and provenancing vertically accreted, fine-grained floodplain overbank deposits. This study presents evidence for chemical remobilization of these metals within overbank sediments in the Tyne basin, UK. The evidence includes: breakdown of metal-bearing minerals (sulphides, carbonates, iron and manganese oxyhydroxides); shifts of chemical fractions within zones of relatively low pH towards more soluble and reactive phases; and accumulation of secondary iron and manganese oxyhydroxides at levels related to fluctuating water-table levels or to the breakdown of organic matter. All of this suggests that fine, centimetre-scale, chemostratigraphy using metal concentrations and ratios is unlikely to provide reliable data in river systems that have experienced, or are experiencing, major changes in water-table levels, or pedogenesis. Coarse tens of centimetre- to metre-scale, chemostratigraphy, when applied with caution, may still provide a means of delineating contaminated units.
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Earth Surface Processes and Landforms|
|Publication status||Published - 1998|