Summary of Abstract Submission

Abstract Submission No. IO50-03-0045PresentationOral

CHRONOLOGY OF LEAD CONCENTRATIONS AND ISOTOPES IN COASTAL ENVIRONMENTS NEAR RAPIDLY GROWING CITIES IN THE MIDDLE EAST, SOUTH AND SOUTH-EAST ASIA, AND SOUTH AMERICA

Gonzalo Carrasco*1, Edward Boyle2

1 Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, Singapore
2 MIT, USA

ABSTRACT :

Lead is a trace metal that is closely related to anthropogenic activity, mainly via leaded gasoline and coal combustion. The study of lead concentrations and isotopes in seawater, sediments, corals and aerosols allows for a systematic look at its sources and their time evolution in a natural environment. Here I will present results from recent projects the Boyle group at MIT has been involved with. These projects studied the Middle East, South and South-East Asia, and South America, regions that have seen quick socio-economical changes over the past half-century that have left environmental signals. The specific study sites are Kuwait, south Vietnam, western Sumatra, Singapore, and Rio de Janeiro, with preliminary data from near Boston as well. I will go into the details of each specific site, and I will conclude with a comparison that focuses on concentration factors, potential sources and their magnitude, and other relevant factors that can give us a general idea about the environmental state of these coastal regions from a Pb perspective as they are affected by urban conglomerates. These results highlight the usefulness of the method, show the complexity of these systems as they show the relative influence of natural and anthropogenic sources in different media, and point to the need for a continuous monitoring of anthropogenic trace metals in the small-medium coastal scale to be able to assess the larger scale effects of human activity.