Natural and anthropic pollution episodes during the Late Holocene evolution of the Tinto River estuary (SW Spain)




pollution, paleoenvironment, biomarkers, Holocene, Tinto estuary, SW Spain


This paper investigates the paleoenvironmental evolution of a core extracted in the middle sector of the Tinto River estuary, SW Spain, one of the most polluted areas in the world due to mining over thousands of years (>4 kyr BP) and recent industrial discharges. This evolution includes alluvial sands (>6.4 cal kyr BP), bioclastic sands and silts deposited in subtidal and intertidal channels during and after the Holocene transgression maximum (6.4-4.3 cal kyr BP), the sedimentation of clayey-sandy silts in low and high marshes during the last 2.4 kyr BP and a final anthropic filling. Three sharp peaks of pollution have been detected, representing a) a natural origin during the Holocene transgression; b) the impact of the first mining activities (~4.5 cal kyr BP); and c) the effect of industrial discharge and a new period of mining activity throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Foraminifera, ostracods and molluscs disappeared during these last two peaks.


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How to Cite

Arroyo M, Ruiz F, González-Regalado ML, Rodríguez Vidal J, Cáceres LM, Olías M, Campos JM, Fernández L, Abad M, Izquierdo T, Gómez P, Toscano A, Romero V, Gómez G. Natural and anthropic pollution episodes during the Late Holocene evolution of the Tinto River estuary (SW Spain). Sci. mar. [Internet]. 2021Jun.11 [cited 2024Apr.22];85(2):113-2. Available from: