Some considerations in the reconstruction of lead levels using laser ablation: lessons from the design stage of dendrochemistry study, St.John's, Canada
More details
Hide details
Department of Geography, Memorial University of Newfoundland, 232 Elizabeth Ave, St John's, NL A1B 3X9, Canada
Faculty of Geology, Geophysics and Environmental Protection, AGH University of Science and Technology, al. A. Mickiewicza 30, 30-059 Krakow, Poland
Department of Soil Science, University of Saskatchewan, 51Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A8, Canada
Submission date: 2015-06-08
Acceptance date: 2015-11-06
Online publication date: 2015-12-31
Geochronometria 2015;42(1):217-231
Study of soils in St. John’s, Canada showed elevated Pb levels representing a potential ex-posure risk for young children. Old trees growing in the city present a potential annually-resolved record of Pb levels over past centuries that provides important temporal and spatial dimensions to Pb exposure risk assessment. This paper reports the results of our analytical tests to develop a fast, relia-ble and cost-efficient method using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) for measuring Pb concentration in annual tree rings from available tree species. Our tests focused on approaches to sample preparation as they affect the laser ablation process, the relative merits of the ablation sampling method, and the response of our available tree species, which have contrasting wood structures, to laser ablation. The range of annual Pb concentrations (ppm) measured for each of the study species were as follows: spruce (0.18–6.42); elm (0.12–7.91); and horse chestnut (0.40–14.09). Our results demonstrate that the cutting procedure for preparing tree cores produced the most consistent Pb concentrations of the three methods, although they each displayed problematic anomalies. The selection of the best laser ablation technique appears to be highly dependent on study species and goals. In general, spot analysis permits detailed and targeted studies of tree-ring struc-tures, but requires careful sampling attention for species with complex wood anatomy. The line scan method is ideal for reconstructing annually resolved element concentrations from trees and to some degree mitigates the complicating issue of intra-ring variability. Horse chestnut was determined to be the best of the available tree species because it exhibited a good response to laser ablation and pro-duced the lowest intra-ring variations in Pb concentration.
Ault,WU, Senechal RG and Erlebach WE, 1970. Isotopic composition as a natural tracer of lead in the environment. Environmental Sci-ence and Technology 4: 305–313, DOI 10.1021/es60039a001.
Aznar JC, Richer-Laflèche M, Bégin C and Rodrigue R, 2008. Spatio-temporal reconstruction of lead contamination using tree rings and organic soil layers. The Science of the Total Environment 407: 233–241, DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2008.09.044.
Baes III CF and Ragsdale HL, 1981. Age-specific lead distribution in xylem rings of three tree genera in Atlanta, Georgia. Environmen-tal Pollution 2: 21–35, DOI 10.1016/0143-148X(81)90005-7.
Bell T, Campbell S, Liverman DGE, Allison D and Sylvester P, 2010. Environmental and potential human health legacies of non-industrial sources of lead in a Canadian urban landscape - the case study of St John’s, Newfoundland. International Geology Review 52: 771–800, DOI 10.1080/00206811003679786.
Bellis DJ, Satake K and McLeod CW, 2004. A comparison of lead isotope ratios in the bark pockets and annual rings of two beech trees collected in Derbyshire and South Yorkshire, UK. The Sci-ence of the Total Environment 321: 105–113, DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2003.08.030.
Brabander DJ, Keon N, Stanley RHR, and Hemond, HF, 1999. Intra-ring variability of Cr, As, Cd, and Pb in red oak revealed by sec-ondary ion mas spectrometry: Implications for environmental bio-monitoring. Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences of the USA 96: 14635–14640.
Burnett A, Kurtz AC, Brabander D and Shailer M, 2007. Dendrochemi-cal record of historical lead contamination sources, Wells G&H Superfund Site, Woburn, Massachusetts. Journal of Environmental Quality 36: 1488–1494, DOI 10.2134/jeq2006.0367.
Christopher TK, Davenport PH and Burden ET, 1993. The effect of urban and industrial development on the geochemistry of the wa-tersheds in the St. John’s area: Preliminary results. Current Re-search: Newfoundland Department of Mines and Energy, Geologi-cal Survey Branch, Report 93(1): 419–433.
Christopher TK, 1999. Paleolimnology in an urban environment: the history of environmental change in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Master Thesis, Department of Earth Science, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Cook ER and Kairiukstis LA, 1990. Methods of Dendrochronology, Applications in the Environmental Sciences. Dodrecht, Boston, London, Kluwer Academic Publishers: 394pp.
Cote B and Camire C, 1995. Application of leaf, soil, and tree ring chemistry to determine the nutritional status of sugar maple on sites of different levels of decline. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 83: 363–373, DOI 10.1007/BF00477363.
Cutter BE and Guyette RP, 1993. Anatomical, chemical, and ecological factors affecting tree species choice in dendrochemical studies. Journal of Environmental Quality 22: 611–619, DOI 10.2134/jeq1993.00472425002200030027x.
Danek M, Bell T, Laroque C, Diegor W, Lam R and Sylvester P, 2014. Przykład wykorzystania analizy przyrostów rocznych drzew metodą ablacji laserowej (LA ICP-MS) w badaniach zaniec-zyszczenia środowiska ołowiem (The use of annual growth rings of trees as an archive of environmental lead pollution). Studia i Materiały Centrum Edukacji Przyrodniczo-Leśnej w Rogowie 16(40): 266–273 (in Polish with English abstract).
Eklund M, 1995. Cadmium and lead deposition around a Swedish battery plant as recorded in oak tree rings. Journal of Environmen-tal Quality 24: 126–131, DOI 10.2134/jeq1995.00472425002400010018x.
Foley R, Bell T and Liverman DGE, 2011. Urban Geochemical Hazard Mapping: the Case Study of St. John’s, Newfoundland. Atlantic Geology 47: 138–157, DOI 10.4138/atlgeol.2011.007.
Fostard O and Pedersen PA, 1998. Progeny testing in street trees sub-jected to roadside soil pollution. Journal of Arboriculture 24(3): 127–134.
Garbe-Schönberg CD, Reimann C and Pavlov VA, 1997. Laser ablation ICP-MS analyses of tree-ring profiles in pine and birch from N Norway and NW Russia: a reliable record of the pollution history of the area? Environmental Geology 32(1): 9–16, DOI 10.1007/s002540050188.
Goldberg EL, Zolotarev KB, Maksimovskaya VV, Kondratyev VI, Ovchinnikovc DV and Naurzbaev MM, 2007. Correlations and fixation of some elements in tree rings. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A 575: 196–198, DOI 10.1016/j.nima.2007.01.066.
Graney JR, Halliday AN, Keeler GJ, Nriagu JO, Robbins JA and Norton SA, 1995. Isotopic record of lead pollution in lake sediments from the northeastern United States. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 59(9): 1715–1728, DOI 10.1016/0016-7037(95)00077-D.
Hagemeyer J, 1993. Monitoring trace metal pollution with tree rings: a critical reassessment. In: Markert B, ed., Plants and Biomonitors. Indicators for heavy metals in terrestrial environment. VCH, Weinheim: 541–563.
Hagemayer J and Schäfer H, 1995. Seasonal variations in concentra-tions and radial distribution patterns of Cd, Pb and Zn in stem wood of beech trees (Fagus sylvatica L.). The Science of the Total Environment 166: 77–87, DOI 10.1016/0048-9697(95)04476-H.
Higgins J, 2007. The St. John's Fire of 1892. Newfoundland and Labra-dor Heritage Web Site. Accessed July 26, 2014.
Hoffmann E, Liidke C, Scholze H and Stephanowitz H, 1994. Analyti-cal investigations of tree rings by laser ablation ICP-MS. Frese-nius Journal of Analytical Chemistry 350: 253–259, DOI 10.1007/BF00322478.
Hojdová M, Navrátil T, Rohovec J, Žák K, Vaněk A, Chrastný V, Bače R and Svoboda M, 2011. Changes in Mercury Deposition in a Mining and Smelting Region as Recorded in Tree Rings. Water, Air and Soil Pollution 216: 73–82, DOI 10.1007/s11270-010-0515-9.
Kardell L and Larsson J, 1978. Lead and cadmium in oak tree rings (Quercusrobur L.). Ambio 7: 117–121.
Kirchner P, Biondi F, Edwards R and McConnell JR, 2008. Variability of trace metal concentrations in Jeffrey pine (Pinusjeffreyi) tree rings from the Tahoe Basin, California, USA. Journal of Forest Research 13: 347–356, DOI 10.1007/s10310-008-0093-5.
Lageard JGA, Howell JA, Rothwell JJ and Drew IB, 2008. The utility of Pinus sylvestris L. in dendrochemical investigations: Pollution im-pact of lead mining and smelting in Darley Dale, Derbyshire, UK. Environmental Pollution 153: 284–294, DOI 10.1016/j.envpol.2007.08.031.
Lamlom SH and Savidge RA, 2003. A reassessment of carbon content in wood: variation within and between 41 North American species. Biomass and Bioenergy 25: 381–388, DOI 10.1016/S0961-9534(03)00033-3.
Legge AH, Kaufmann HC and Winchester JW, 1984. Tree-ring analysis by PIXE for a historical record of soil chemistry response to acidic air pollution. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physical Re-search B 3: 507–510, DOI 10.1016/0168-583X(84)90428-2.
Lepp NW, 1975. The potential of tree rings for monitoring heavy metal pollution patterns. Environmental Pollution 9: 49–61, DOI 10.1016/0013-9327(75)90055-5.
MacDonald HC, Laroque CP, Fleming DEB and Gheraseb MR, 2011. Dendroanalysis of metal pollution from the Sydney Steel Plant in Sydney, Nova Scotia. Dendrochronologia 29: 9–15, DOI 10.1016/j.dendro.2010.08.001.
Malik I, Danek M, Marchwińska-Wyrwał E, Danek T, Wistuba M and Krapiec M, 2012. Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) Growth Suppression and Adverse Effects on Human Health Due to Air Pollution in the Upper Silesian Industrial District (USID), Southern Poland. Water, Air and Soil Poluttion 223: 3345–3364, DOI 10.1007/s11270-012-1114-8.
McClenahen JR, Vimmerstedt JP and Scherzer AJ, 1989. Elemental concentrations in tree rings by PIXE: Statistical variability, mobility, and effects of altered soil chemistry. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 19: 880–888, DOI 10.1139/x89-134.
McLaughlin SB, Shortle WC, Smith KT, 2002. Dendroecological applications in air pollution and environmental chemistry: research needs. Dendrochronologia 20: 133–157, DOI 10.1078/1125-7865-00013.
Meish HU, Kessler M, Reinle W and Wagner A, 1986. Distribution of metals in annual rings of beech (Fagus sylvatica) as an expresion of environmental changes. Experientia 42: 533–542.
Mihaljevič M, Ettler V, Šebek O, Sracek O, Kříbek B, Kyncl T, Majer V and Veselovský F, 2011. Lead Isotopic and Metallic Pollution Record in Tree Rings from the Copper belt Mining-Smelting Area, Zambia. Water, Air and Soil Pollution 216: 657–668, DOI 10.1007/s11270-010-0560-4.
Monticelli D, Di Iorio A, Ciceri E, Castelletti A and Dossi C, 2009. Tree ring microanalysis by LA-ICP-MS for environmental moni-toring: validation or refutation? Two case histories. Microchimica Acta 164: 139–148, DOI 10.1007/s00604-008-0049-7.
Novak M, Mikova J, Krachler M, Kosler J, Erbanova L, Prechova E, Jackova I and Fottova D, 2010. Radial distribution of lead and lead isotopes in stem wood of Norway spruce: A reliable archive of pollution trends in Central Europe. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 74: 4207–4218, DOI 10.1016/j.gca.2010.04.059.
Osterberg E, Mayewski P, Kreutz K, Fisher D Handley M, Sneed S, Zdanowicz C, Zheng J, Demuth M, Waskiewicz M and Bourgeois J, 2008. Ice core record of rising lead pollution in the North Pacific atmosphere. Geophysical Research Letters 35: L05810, DOI 10.1029/2007GL032680.
Outridge PM, Veinott G and Evans RD, 1995. Laser ablation ICP-MS analysis of incremental biological structures: archives of trace-element accumulation. Environmental Reviews 3: 160–170, DOI 10.1139/a95-007.
Paton C, Hellstrom J, Paul B, Woodhead J and Hergt J, 2011. Iolite: Freeware for the visualization and processing of mass spectromet-ric data. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry 26: 2508–2518, DOI 10.1039/C1JA10172B.
Patrick GJ and Farmer JG, 2006. A stable lead isotopic investigation of the use of sycamore tree rings as a historical biomonitor of envi-ronmental lead contamination. The Science of the Total Environ-ment 362: 278–291, DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2005.12.004.
Pearson C, Manning SW, Coleman M and Jarvis K, 2005. Can tree-ring chemistry reveal absolute dates for past volcanic eruptions? Jour-nal of Archaeological Science 32: 1265–1274, DOI 10.1016/j.jas.2005.03.007.
Prapaipong P, Enssle CW, Morris JD, Shock EL and Lindvall RE, 2008. Rapid transport of anthropogenic lead through soils in southeast Missouri. Applied Geochemistry 23: 2156–2170, DOI 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2008.05.002.
Prohaska T, Stadlbauer C, Wimmer R, Stingeder G, Latkoczy C, Hoff-mann E and Stephanowitz H, 1998. Investigation of element varia-bility in tree rings of young Norway spruce by laser-ablation-ICPMS. The Science of the Total Environment 219: 29–39, DOI 10.1016/S0048-9697(98)00224-1.
Rao U, Fehn U, Muramatsu Y, McNeil H, Sharma P and Elmore D, 2002. Tracing the history of nuclear releases: Determination of 129I in tree rings. Environmental Science and Technology 36: 1271–1275, DOI 10.1021/es011045i.
Rolfe GL, 1974. Lead distribution in tree rings. Forest Science 20: 283–286.
Saint-Laurent D, St-Laurent J, Duplessis P and Lavoie L, 2010. Isotopic Record of Lead Contamination in Alluvial Soils and Tree Rings on Recent Floodplains (Southern Québec, Canada). Water Air Soil Pollution 209: 451–466, DOI 10.1007/s11270-009-0213-7.
Shepard PR and Witten ML, 2005. Laser trimming tree-ring cores for dendrochemistry of metals. Tree-ring Research 61: 87–92, DOI 10.3959/1536-1098-61.2.87.
Shotyk W, Cheburkin AK, Appleby PG, Fankhouser A and Kramers JD, 1996. Two thousand years of atmospheric arsenic, antimony, and lead deposition recorded in an ombrotrophic peat bog profile, Jura Mountains, Switzerland. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 145: E1-E7, DOI 10.1016/S0012-821X(96)00197-5.
Smith KT and Shortle WC, 1996. Tree ring biology and dendrochemis-try. In: Dean, J.S.; Meko andD.M.; Swetnam, T.W., eds., Tree rings, Environment and Humanity. Proceedings of an International Conference. Tucson, AZ: Radiocarbon: 629–635.
St. George S, Outridge PM and Nielsen E, 2006. High-resolution den-rochemical flood-affected oaks using laser ablation ICP-Mass Spectrometry. IAWA Journal 27(1): 19–31.
Stravinskiene V, Bartkevicius E and Plausinyte E, 2013. Dendrochrono-logical research of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) radial growth in vicinity of industrial pollution. Dendrochronologia 31: 179–186, DOI 10.1016/j.dendro.2013.04.001.
Ward NI, Brooks RR and Reeves RD, 1974. Effect of lead from motor-vehicle exhausts on trees along a major thoroughfare in Palmerston North, New Zealand. Environmental Pollution 6: 149–158, DOI 10.1016/0013-9327(74)90031-7.
Watmough SA and Hutchinson TC, 2003. A comparison of temporal patterns in trace metal concentration in tree rings of four common European tree species adjacent to a Cu-Cd Refinery. Water Air and Soil Pollution 146: 225–241, DOI 10.1023/A:1023952417583.
Watmough SA and Hutchinson TC, 1999. Changes in the dendrochem-istry of sacred fir close to Mexico City over the past 100 years. Environmental Pollution 104: 79–88, DOI 10.1016/S0269-7491(98)00150-X.
Watmough SA, 1999. Monitoring historical changes in soil and atmos-pheric trace metal levels by dendrochemical analysis. Environmen-tal Pollution 106: 391–403, DOI 10.1016/S0269-7491(99)00102-5.
Watmough SA, Hutchinson TC and Evans RD, 1998a. The quantitative analysis of sugar maple tree rings by laser ablation in conjunction with ICP-MS. Journal of Environmental Quality 27: 1087–1094, DOI 10.2134/jeq1998.00472425002700050014x.
Watmough SA, Hutchinson TC and Evans RD, 1998b. Development of solid calibration standards for trace elemental analyses of tree rings by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrom-etry. Environmental Science and Technology 32, 2185–2190, DOI 10.1021/es980008x.
Watmough SA, Thomas C, Hutchinson TC and Evans RD, 1997. Appli-cation of Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spec-trometry in Dendrochemical Analysis. Environmental Science and Technology 31: 114–118, DOI 10.1021/es960168d.
Witte KM, Wanty RB and Ridley WI, 2004. Engelmann Spruce (Picea engelmannii) as a biological monitor of changes in soil metal load-ing related to past mining activity. Applied Geochemistry 19: 1367–1376, DOI 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2004.01.022.
Woodhead J, Hellstrom J, Hergt J, Greig A and Maas R, 2007. Isotopic and elemental imaging of geological materials by laser ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma mass spectrometry. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research 31: 331–343, DOI 10.1111/j.1751-908X.2007.00104.x.
Wu S, Zhou S, Li X, Johnson WC, Zhang H and Shi J, 2010. Heavy-metal accumulation trends in Yixing, China: an area of rapid eco-nomic development. Environmental Earth Sciences 61: 79–86, DOI 10.1007/s12665-009-0321-0.
Yilmaz R, Sakcali S, Yarci C, Aksoy A and Ozturk M, 2006. Use of Aesculus hippocastanum L. as biomonitor of heavy metal pollu-tion. Pakistan Journal of Botany 38(5): 1519–1527.
Zuna M, Mihaljevič M, Šebek O, Ettler V, Handley M, Navrátil T and Goliás V, 2011. Recent lead deposition trends in the Czech Repub-lic as recorded by peat bogs and tree rings. Atmospheric Environ-ment 45: 4950–4958, DOI 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2011.06.007.
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top