Atmospheric bulk deposition of trace metals to the Seine river basin: concentrations, sources and evolution during 1988-2001

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsMotelay-Massei, A, Ollivon, D, Tiphagne, K, Garban, B
JournalWater, Air, & Soil Pollution
Start Page119
Date Published06/2005
Mots-clésatmospheric deposition, Seine Estuary, temporal trends, trace metals
Concentrations of Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn were determined in bulk atmospheric deposition collected at five stations in the Seine River basin (France), to evaluate sources and fluxes of atmospheric trace metals. Bulk deposition (wet + dry) was sampled weekly from March 2001 to February 2002 for 4 sites and from March to December 2001 for the last one. The concentrations of the elements in bulk deposition (dissolved + particulate form) followed the order: Zn > Pb > Cu > Ni > Cd. Concentrations of Zn, Pb and Ni were highly correlated with one another, suggesting a common source, related to the combustion of coal and heavy fuel. Metal concentrations in bulk deposition did not exhibit a high degree of temporal variability over the annual cycle and were not obviously related to meteorological parameters (rainfall, wind). Estimates of the total annual direct atmospheric deposition of metals to the Seine Estuary ranged from 16 kg yr-1 for Cd to 5600 kg yr-1 for Zn. Loadings of Cd, Cu and Ni from direct atmospheric inputs were less than 1% of those contributed by the Seine River and loadings of Pb and Zn represented 1.27% and 1.56% of the Seine contribution. Direct atmospheric inputs are negligible compared to fluvial inputs, but the indirect atmospheric deposition to the estuary was not estimated. Based on these results, trace metal concentrations in Paris have decreased by a factor of 4.6 for Zn and by a factor of 50 for Ni from 1988 to 2001. Of particular interest is the continued decrease in bulk deposition of Pb during this period, underlining the impact of policy initiatives concerning the reduction of lead on emissions in France.