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First evidence of Pre-industrial mercury pollution

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posted on May, 21 2009 @ 01:18 AM
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Welcome to early pollution from the production of Vermillion




The study of ancient lake sediment from high altitude lakes in the Andes has revealed for the first time that mercury pollution occurred long before the start of the Industrial Revolution......

"We found that mercury mining, smelting and emissions go back as far as 1400 BC," said Cooke.




Paleolimnology: the study of ancient sediments is one of the fastest rising areas of study. Using these techniques you can get a clearer picture of what was going on in the past.

Scientists are using sediments more and more to determine what was going on in ancient environments. From analyzing the materials from sediments you can determine rates of pollution, changes in vegetation even weather information.

Abstract of paper

Abstract




"More surprisingly, mining appears to have began before the rise of any complex or highly stratified society(in the Andes). This represents a departure from current thinking, which suggests mining only arose after these societies emerged," said Cooke.




posted on May, 21 2009 @ 02:00 AM
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LMAO!!!!

I thought this was about evidence of pre industrial pollution found ON Mercury. hehehehe I feel like a dumbass.



posted on May, 21 2009 @ 02:30 AM
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Resent test on fish taken from the Sacramento river and in Calif and sent to the smithsonian in 1849 show that the fish had more mercury in them as now.

Fish caught during the 1840s and stored at the museum had 0.38 ppm
Fish caught from the same river in 1978 had 0.16 ppm.

And there is no evidence that the indians in calif used mercury before mining by the miners in the gold rush.

So where did the mercury come from.????????????



posted on May, 21 2009 @ 01:26 PM
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reply to post by ANNED
 


That is interesting. Mercury pollution of ground water is a well known. Do you have a link to the paper on that? I wonder if the preservative might have been to blame?


Yeah sorry guy no studies done on the soil of Mercury, yet!



posted on May, 21 2009 @ 01:49 PM
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reply to post by ANNED
 


Probably from the miners going after gold, since the specimens in question were collected a year after the rush began. It also depends on where they were collected from, as some streams and rivers have naturally high metal contents from the substrates they pass over, sort of like how the water below a stand of water hemlock will be poisonous from the leaching.



posted on May, 21 2009 @ 03:10 PM
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reply to post by TheWalkingFox
 


Well a D'uh moment for me! Of course the fish were probably collected after the start of the gold rush and the wide use of Mercury to capture gold dust in the tributaries of the Sacramento river.



posted on May, 23 2009 @ 11:52 PM
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does mercury just appear like a liquid in the rocks of the earth? or is it like other things where it has to be refined to be isolated?



posted on May, 24 2009 @ 12:30 AM
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"Mercury is an extremely rare element in the Earth's crust, having an average crustal abundance by mass of only 0.08 parts per million. However, because it does not blend geochemically with those elements that constitute the majority of the crustal mass, mercury ores can be extraordinarily concentrated considering the element's abundance in ordinary rock."

en.wikipedia.org...(element)#Occurrence



posted on May, 24 2009 @ 12:52 AM
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Originally posted by TheWalkingFox
reply to post by ANNED
 


Probably from the miners going after gold, since the specimens in question were collected a year after the rush began. It also depends on where they were collected from, as some streams and rivers have naturally high metal contents from the substrates they pass over, sort of like how the water below a stand of water hemlock will be poisonous from the leaching.


Unlikely because the use of mercury for mining did not start till they started hard-rock and hydraulic mining years later around the 1880s.
The early gold mining was for the most part placer mining with pans and sluices.
and the biggest use of mercury was in the 1890 to 1930 period.


does mercury just appear like a liquid in the rocks of the earth? or is it like other things where it has to be refined to be isolated?


Most mercury is retorted from cinnabar ore.
but there are some areas that have liquid mercury in the rocks.
Hotsprings are common areas to find liquid mercury.

Two that know of in Calif are the serpentine rocks around the Allegheny Calif area where i have found liquid mercury in my gold mill after milling high grade gold quartz ore.

The other was at Coso hot-springs in the Calif desert where liquid mercury can be panned from the dirt around the natural steam vents
en.wikipedia.org...

It has also be found in the condensers and steam lines at the Coso geothermal power plants.
www.navair.navy.mil...


[edit on 24-5-2009 by ANNED]

[edit on 24-5-2009 by ANNED]



posted on May, 24 2009 @ 01:52 AM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 


There was a fascinating discussion with the author of this study on a radio program today.

www.cbc.ca...

Scroll down to the Ancient Mercury mines section. A few links there as well dealing with this subject. one of which is already linked above. I thoroughly enjoyed the subject. Hanslune, you'd probably enjoy this program.



posted on May, 24 2009 @ 04:37 PM
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California is full of mercury producing areas.
One of the more surprising areas is the south santa clara county, San Jose. The place was built on mercury mines, and its reflected in the names of the area,ie the San Jose mercury, and quick silver park.
Lexington resevior south of Los Gatos is extremely contaminated from mercury.
Another area is the Clear Creek managment area in the central coast range, its a mineral and gem bonanza.
The used to mine cinnabar and uranium, and gem stones.
People still find gem quality rubys and saphire and Benitoite a gem stone found only in the area.

The wiki page on New Idra,
en.wikipedia.org...://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Idria,_California

New Idra is one creepy ass place, It was a working mine until the '70's, after it was closed, the town became a drug rehab "commune", even creepier.
Its all abandoned now, and has a very hockey mask and banjo pickin feel about it.
I used to have a bunch of pictures of the place, but I lost them when my last lap top was stolen.

There also some other wierd stuff going on out there, a friend of mine used to work for a company that serviced telecom towers.
He was working on a very remote mtn top tower, when a white 4wd truck with no plates showed up and a couple of armed military looking guys in civies get out.
My buddy thought it was wierd that they appeared out of no where, at the top of the mountain.
They told them they were tresspassing, and wanted ID's from the tower workers and what were they doing? who did they work for? and stuff.
The weirdest part about it, my friend said, was that they did an id check in just a couple of minutes.
My friend, who is now a LEO, thought it was odd that private security would be able to verify identity so quickly by cell phone, in those days.
After they verified the workers identity they stayed there while they did the tower service.
At one point my friend asked one of the guys what was with all of 007 stuff, and he told them they were security for a uranium mine.



After my buddy told me this story i started thinking about it, I know the area pretty well and where they were was at the end of about 40 miles of 4wd trail. Theres no roads big enough, to handle the kind of truck traffic that would be required to operate a profitable uranium mine, and you certainly couldnt do it hard rock tunnel mining, there are no large pits in the area.

I have a couple of thoughts, the more mundane one is that the uranium mine story is a cover. They arent mining uranium, but are mining gem quality rubies and sapphires instead. That could be done profitably without huge equipment needing huge roads like a uranium mine.

The other involves the nearly 40 year battle to close the clear creek managment area to the public, because of public health safety concerns.
The EPA wants the area closed because of asbestos in the rocks.
It was closed and likely for good last year.
Talk about a good cover for the contsruction of a DUMB, an remote mountainous area with a history of mining.
O couple of times while riding mountain bikes in the area, I would get shadowed by a white truck on an opposite ridge.
The truck would drive slowly along as I rode, stopping evry once and a while and the driver would get out and look at me with binoculars. it wierded me out and i would drop back down into the canyons and leave.
It ade me stop riding out there by myself, and 2 years ago I was riding my motorcycle through the area, late on a sunday evening.
I stopped along a deserted stretch of road with no houses, ranches or anything for at least 5 miles, to change from dark goggles to clear lenses.
I hadnt been stopped but 30 seconds, when a truck lit me up with high beams from only 50' away on the other side of the fence.


It freaked me out, and I took off with my goggles and backpack hanging from my handlebars.

They had to have already bee sitting there when I pulled up.


really wierd.




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