The Laurentian Great Lakes are the most studied system in lake geochemistry and have well-preserved chronological profiles. Metals play numerous critical roles in natural and anthropogenic characteristics of lake ecosystems, so patterns in the historical records of metals from sedimentary cores provide important information about environmental baselines and human impacts. Relevant studies of Great Lakes geochemistry are listed, and we follow with encyclopedic descriptions of metals and their oxides in the lakes. These descriptions include likely natural and anthropogenic sources of elements, their known history from previous paleoecological studies, and their status as potential contaminants of concern. Despite the well-studied geology of the Great Lakes catchment, sourcing elements was sometimes difficult due to materials often being moved long distances by glaciation and the global prevalence of atmospheric pollutants. We summarized available information on metals and their roles as geochemical indicators in the Great Lakes.
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article