Pollution history of Pb and other trace metals was reconstructed for the first time for the Eastern Mediterranean, from a small urban winter pond (Dora, Netanya), located at the densely populated coastal plain of Israel. An integrated approach including geochemical, sedimentological, and historical analyses was employed to study sediments from the center of the pond. Profiles of metal concentrations (Pb, Zn, V, Ni, Cu, Cr, Co, Cd, and Hg) and Pb isotopic composition denote two main eras of pre- and post-19th century. The deeper sediment is characterized by low concentrations and relatively constant 206Pb/207Pb (around 1.20), similar to natural Pb sources, with slight indications of ancient anthropogenic activity. The upper sediment displays an upward increase in trace metal concentrations, with the highest enrichment factor for Pb (18.4). Lead fluxes and isotopic composition point to national/regional petrol-Pb emissions as the major contributor to Pb contamination, overwhelming other potential local and transboundary sources. Traffic-related metals are correlated with Pb, emphasizing the polluting inputs of traffic. The Hg profile, however, implies global pollution rather than local sources.
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© 2014 American Chemical Society.