Scale-dependent spatial variability in peatland lead pollution in the southern Pennines, UK

Environ Pollut. 2007 Jan;145(1):111-20. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2006.03.037. Epub 2006 Jun 13.


Increasingly, within-site and regional comparisons of peatland lead pollution have been undertaken using the inventory approach. The peatlands of the Peak District, southern Pennines, UK, have received significant atmospheric inputs of lead over the last few hundred years. A multi-core study at three peatland sites in the Peak District demonstrates significant within-site spatial variability in industrial lead pollution. Stochastic simulations reveal that 15 peat cores are required to calculate reliable lead inventories at the within-site and within-region scale for this highly polluted area of the southern Pennines. Within-site variability in lead pollution is dominant at the within-region scale. The study demonstrates that significant errors may be associated with peatland lead inventories at sites where only a single peat core has been used to calculate an inventory. Meaningful comparisons of lead inventories at the regional or global scale can only be made if the within-site variability of lead pollution has been quantified reliably.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / analysis
  • England
  • Environmental Monitoring / instrumentation
  • Industry
  • Lead / analysis*
  • Soil Pollutants / analysis*
  • Stochastic Processes


  • Air Pollutants
  • Soil Pollutants
  • Lead