Landscape hydrogeochemistry of Fe, Mn, S and trace elements (As, Co, Pb) in a boreal stream network
Sammanfattning: The transport of elements by streams from headwater regions to the sea is influenced by landscape characteristics. This thesis focuses on the influence of landscape characteristics (e.g. proportion of wetland/forest coverage) on temporal and spatial variations of Fe, Mn, S and trace elements (As, Co, Pb) in streams located in northern Sweden, a boreal region characterized by coniferous forests and peat wetlands.Water samples from a network of 15 streams revealed a different hydrogeochemistry in forested catchments compared to wetland catchments. The temporal variation was dominated by spring flood, when concentrations of Fe, Mn and trace elements increased in forested headwaters. However, in streams of wetland catchments concentrations decreased, but Pb concentrations were higher in comparison to other streams. Both Fe and Pb showed positive correlations with wetland area, while Co correlated with forest coverage. The anthropogenic contribution of As and Pb appear to be larger than the supply from natural sources.During spring flood SO42- decreased in most streams, although concentrations increased in streams of wetland catchments. Concentrations of SO42- were higher in streams of forested catchments than in wetland dominated streams, the former being net exporters of S and the latter net accumulators. Isotope values of stream water SO42- (?34SSO4) were close to that of precipitation during spring flood, indicating that the major source of S is from deposition. The results show that, although emissions of anthropogenic S have been reduced, there is still a strong influence of past and current S deposition on runoff in this region.In conclusion, wetlands are key areas for the hydrogeochemistry in this boreal landscape. The findings emphasize the importance of understanding stream water chemistry and element cycling from a landscape perspective. This may be important for predicting how boreal regions respond to environmental disturbances such as climate change.
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