Metalliferous pollution in an archaeologically important site on Anglesey, North Wales, UK

Curtis, L., 2004. Metalliferous pollution in an archaeologically important site on Anglesey, North Wales, UK. MPhil, Nottingham Trent University.

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Parys Mountain is situated on Anglesey, North Wales, UK and since the Bronze Age, has been exploited for the metal rich ores that exist there due to its diverse geology. The site is approximately 3km2 in area and is archaeologically important because of a significant industrial past of which many remnants of buildings still stand. Artefacts from the Roman and Bronze Age have also been discovered in the area. At one time the mine was the World's largest producer of copper and saw the greatest amount of productivity between 1768 and 1802. This was followed by a gradual to decline in production during the first part of the 1900's. Prolonged anthropogenic activity at Parys Mountain has left the area composed of spoil tips, paths, precipitation ponds and large depressions. There is low plant and animal biodiversity and population numbers are low; however some plant heavy metal ecotypes have managed to establish here successfully. Vegetation cover is between 20-30%, dominated by Calluna vulgaris. The extensive mining and ore processing that took place has produced a mosaic of contamination across the site and prolonged erosion and weathering of these tips has led to mobilisation and consequently has increased the bioavailability of copper, lead and zinc in the substrate. Plants inhabiting the area are exposed to these elevated concentrations of essential and non-essential metals and some species have subsequently bioaccumulated these through different absorption routes, whereas others have mechanisms to prevent excess uptake. Analysis of animal samples has revealed markedly elevated concentrations of copper, lead and zinc and from this, it is apparent that movement of these elements through the trophic levels occurs. In a number of plants and animals, partitioning of metals occurs in different tissues of the organism which may be one of many mechanisms utilised to cope with such contaminated environmental conditions.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Curtis, L.
Date: 2004
ISBN: 9781369317008
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 01 Oct 2020 13:54
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2023 09:18

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