Terrawatch: Roman records show lasting effects of pollution

ll across the globe lakes have been in trouble. Too much nutrients C from fertilisers, detergents and sewage C is upsetting into your market of life, leading to algal blooms and bottom-water dead-zones. Many places are actually attempting to pick up their act, but wait, how long does it require for a lake to recover?

Sediment cores drilled with a Swiss lake reveal for how long it took for any lake to recovery following Romans departed, and indicate we’d have to wait centuries for today’s polluted lakes to get properly fresh again.

The Roman capital of scotland- Aventicum, for the shores of Lake Murten in Switzerland, grew rapidly from around AD30, supporting around 20,000 people during its heyday within the first and second centuries. These days sediments on the lake bed reveal that the land clearance and intensive agriculture linked to the development of Aventicum lead to huge nutrient runoff in the lake, eliminating ecosystems and plunging the forest into crisis.

During the last century the Romans abandoned Aventicum along with the sediments demonstrate that life returned for the lake after about Five decades. Nevertheless the findings, which are published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, show it took around 300 years with the lake to completely recover.


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