Aquatic geochemistry of the rare earth elements and yttrium in the Pioneer River catchment, Australia

Lawrence, Michael G., Jupiter, Stacy D., and Kamber, Balz S. (2006) Aquatic geochemistry of the rare earth elements and yttrium in the Pioneer River catchment, Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research, 57 (7). pp. 725-736.

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Abstract

The rare earth elements are strong provenance indicators in geological materials, yet the potential for tracing provinciality in surface freshwater samples has not been adequately tested. Rare earth element and yttrium concentrations were measured at 33 locations in the Pioneer River catchment, Mackay, central Queensland, Australia. The rare earth element patterns were compared on the basis of geological, topographical and land-use features in order to investigate the provenancing potential of these elements in a small freshwater system. The rare earth element patterns of streams draining single lithological units with minor land modification show strongly coherent normalised behaviour, with a loss of coherence in agricultural locations. Evidence is reported for an anthropogenic Gd anomaly that may provide a useful hydrological tracer in this region since the introduction of magnetic resonance imaging in 2003. Several samples display a superchondritic Y/Ho mass ratio (up to 44), which is not explainable within the constraints imposed by local geology. Instead, it is suggested that the additional Y is derived from a marine source, specifically marine phosphorites, which are a typical source of fertiliser phosphorus. The data indicate that, under some circumstances, scaled and normalised freshwater rare earth patterns behave conservatively.

Item ID: 1480
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: fertiliser, gadolinium anomaly, land use, lanthanides
ISSN: 1448-6059
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2007
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050304 Soil Chemistry (excl Carbon Sequestration Science) @ 0%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 12
Downloads: Total: 2
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