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Black coral as a new environmental recorder: The lead profiles in coral skeletons over the past century

Lu, Shan, Cai, Weiying, Zhang, Xiaodi, Li, Xiubao, Huang, Hui, Zhang, Fenfen, Zhang, Jing
Marine pollution bulletin 2015 v.101 no.1 pp. 226-231
X-radiation, analytical methods, atmospheric deposition, corals, economic development, fluorescence, heavy metals, humans, islands, lead, pollutants, seawater, water pollution, South China Sea
Lead (Pb) is a typical heavy metal pollutant in the environment, and most Pb contamination comes from human activities. In the present work, the Pb contents of two black coral specimens (Cirrhipathes spp.) collected from the northern South China Sea were measured by synchrotron radiation micro X-ray fluorescence (SR μ-XRF) analysis with 2.5μm resolution. The results showed that sample SY-1 from the Sanya Bay (near the continent) exhibited higher Pb levels and greater fluctuations than sample XS-1 from the Xisha Islands (off the continent), reflecting the influence of terrestrial input and atmospheric deposition in coastal surface seawater. The present work also demonstrated that the Pb profile in black coral nearshore was highly influenced by human activities, mainly by war and economic development. Thus, black coral may serve as a new potential environmental Pb recorder with SR μ-XRF analytical technology.