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Faculty for Biology, Chemistry, and Earth Sciences

Department of Hydrology - Prof. Dr. Stefan Peiffer

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Application of the Peat Archive as Tool in Environmental Chemistry


From 05/2007 to 05/2011

Principal Investigator: Michael Radke, Christian Blodau
Staff: Sabine Thüns
Grant: RA 896/6-1 Application of peat archieves as tool of environmental chemistry

Application of the Peat Archive as Tool in Environmental Chemistry

Among the potential archives for atmospheric deposition of contaminants, ombrotrophic (rain-fed) bogs and lake sediments are the most promising ones. Sediment profiles are already being regularly used as tool in environmental chemistry; in contrast, the peat archive has so far mostly been studied at single locations, or only individual groups of contaminants have been analyzed. Aim of this project is to demonstrate and apply the full potential of the peat archive as diagnostic tool in environmental chemistry. To these ends, we will analyze multiple classes of organic and inorganic compounds, i.e. polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polybrominated diphenyl-ethers (PBDEs) together with trace metals like arsenic, chromium, and mercury. An industrial area in Eastern Canada will be taken as defined source area, and the spatio-temporal deposition pattern of contaminants to bogs located on a 400km-transect up- and downwind the source area will be determined. The results will be analyzed using dispersion and receptor modelling, and the contaminant deposition data will be used to validate compound-specific transport parameters like characteristic travel distances that so far have only been determined by model calculations.

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