Marine Science Faculty Publications

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Sedimentation, lead-210, cesium-137, man induced effects, Florida, Tampa Bay


Increased sedimentation rates have been attributed to increased anthropogenic activity in watersheds throughout Florida and many parts of the world. The Manatee River, located on the west coast of Florida (USA), like many other coastal watersheds, has experienced depletion in natural resources, increased nutrient loading, and increased pollution. LARs (linear accumulation rates) from watersheds throughout Florida suggest that anthropogenic activity increased bulk sedimentation by as much as 4-fold. The objective of this study was to construct a record of sedimentation and improve upon previous studies by determining individual sedimentary constituent MARs (mass accumulation rates) based on short lived radioisotopes (210Pb and 234Th) to characterize changes in sedimentation attributed to increased anthropogenic development. This study constructed records of sedimentary accumulation rates to compare pre-development records to the past 100 years of anthropogenic development and identified specific changes in sedimentation attributed to anthropogenic activity. Anthropogenic development increased deposition of terrigenous material into the river from 2-fold to 10-fold (0.3-2.0 g/cm2/yr) over three periods: (1) predevelopment period (1900-1941); (2) agricultural development period (1941-1970); (3) urban development period (1970-2010). The mobilization of this amount of terrigenous material has implications for effects on water quality and biological communities within the river.


Formerly part of Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering, ISSN 1934-8932

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering, v. B3, p. 1-13