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    A novel approach of combining isotopic and geochemical signatures to differentiate the sources of sediments and particulate nutrients from different land uses

    Bahadori, Mohammad and Chen, Chengrong and Lewis, Stephen and Rashti, Mehran Rezaei and Cook, Freeman and Parnell, Andrew and Esfandbod, Maryam and Boyd, Sue (2019) A novel approach of combining isotopic and geochemical signatures to differentiate the sources of sediments and particulate nutrients from different land uses. Science of The Total Environment, 655. pp. 129-140. ISSN 0048-9697

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    Determining the source of sediments and associated nutrients from terrestrial to aquatic environments is critical for managing the detrimental impacts of soil erosion and loss of nutrients from terrestrial into aquatic environment. However, tracing the source of particulate nutrients from different land uses has not been adequately carried out due to methodological difficulties in separating sources, particularly in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) catchment. The objective of this study was to develop a method to differentiate the sources of particulate nutrients from soils collected from different land uses (combination of beef and dairy grazing, sugarcane, forest and banana) using both geochemical and isotopic signatures. In order to select a discriminative group of signatures, all soil samples collected from each of the land use areas were fractionated to <63 μm size fraction and were analysed for both isotopic (δ13C, δ15N) and acid extractable geochemical properties (e.g. Zn, Pt and S). Considering the fact that the outcome of tracing models often depends on the type and robustness of the methods used, here we have employed a stable isotope mixing model (SIAR) to evaluate if the suite of selected elements could be used to estimate the relative contribution of different sources for a series of five virtually created sediment mixtures. For the five groups of virtual sediments, the SIAR model provided close estimates to the contribution values of sediment sources with the Mean Absolute Error (MAE) varying from 0.30 to 2.88%. Results from this study show for the first time that the combined use of isotopic and geochemical signatures enable the SIAR model to provide an accurate estimation of source apportionment where a variety of land uses needs to be investigated and shows promise as a valuable new sediment and particulate nutrient tracing tool.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Sediment; Fingerprinting; Mixing models; Nitrogen; Stable isotopic abundance;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Mathematics and Statistics
    Faculty of Science and Engineering > Research Institutes > Hamilton Institute
    Item ID: 11758
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Andrew Parnell
    Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2019 15:42
    Journal or Publication Title: Science of The Total Environment
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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