Silver and copper as pollution tracers in Neogene to Holocene estuarine sediments from southwestern Spain

Mar Pollut Bull. 2020 Jan;150:110704. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2019.110704. Epub 2019 Nov 16.


Estuaries are very sensitive ecosystems to human activities and the natural evolution of their drainage basins located upstream. Pollution derived from human activities, such as historical mining or recent industrial wastes, can significantly affect their environmental quality. This paper analyzes the silver and copper contents of four cores extracted in two estuaries of SW Spain. Its chronology and vertical evolution allow to differentiate the effects of several pollution episodes (natural, Roman, 19th-20th centuries) on its different sedimentary environments in the last 6 million years. Possible future applications are included in the fields of environmental management or even education.

Keywords: Anthropic impacts; Copper; Guadalquivir estuary; Miocene-recent; Natural pollution; SW Spain; Silver; Tinto-odiel estuary.

MeSH terms

  • Copper / analysis*
  • Ecosystem
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods*
  • Estuaries
  • Geologic Sediments*
  • Humans
  • Silver / analysis*
  • Spain
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis*
  • Water Pollution, Chemical / statistics & numerical data*


  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Silver
  • Copper