In situ benthic flux experiments were conducted at two stations in the Mar Piccolo of Taranto (Italy), one of the most industrialised and ontaminated coastal areas of the Mediterranean. Sediments of the two stations are notably different in their trace metal content, with a station closer to a Navy harbour showing higher mean concentrations of almost all investigated metals (Al, As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Vand Zn). Conversely, both stations are characterised by significant Hg contamination, compared to the local baseline. Results of a sequential extraction scheme on surface sediments suggest a relatively scarce mobility of the examined metals (Zn > Ni > Cr > As > Cu > Pb). A Hg-specific extraction procedure showed that most of the element (93.1 %) occurs in a fraction comprising Hg bound to Fe/Mn oxi-hydroxides. Reduction of these oxides may affect Hg remobilisation and redistribution. Porewater profiles of dissolved trace metals were quite similar in the two sites, although significant differences could be observed for Al, Cu, Fe and Hg. The highest diffusive fluxes were observed for As, Fe and Mn. Mobility rates of several trace elements (Al, As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, V and Zn) were directly measured at the sediment– water interface. Results from benthic in situ incubation experiments showed increasing dissolved metal concentrations with time, resulting in higher fluxes for Cu, Fe, Hg, V and Zn in the most contaminated site. Conversely, fluxes of Mn, Ni and Pb were comparable between the two stations. The estimated flux of Hg (97 μg m−2 day−1) was the highest observed among similar experiments conducted in other highly contaminated Mediterranean coastal environments. Benthic fluxes could be partially explained by considering rates of organic matter remineralisation, dissolution of Fe/Mn oxyhydroxides and metal speciation in sediments. Seasonal and spatial variation of biogeochemical parameters can influence metal remobilisation in the Mar Piccolo area. In particular, metals could be promptly remobilised as a consequence of oxygen depletion, posing a serious concern for the widespread fishing and mussel farming activities in the area.

Mobility of heavy metals from polluted sediments of a semi-enclosed basin: in situ benthic chamber experiments in Taranto’s Mar Piccolo (Ionian Sea, Southern Italy)

EMILI, ANDREA;ACQUAVITA, Alessandro;COVELLI, STEFANO;
2016

Abstract

In situ benthic flux experiments were conducted at two stations in the Mar Piccolo of Taranto (Italy), one of the most industrialised and ontaminated coastal areas of the Mediterranean. Sediments of the two stations are notably different in their trace metal content, with a station closer to a Navy harbour showing higher mean concentrations of almost all investigated metals (Al, As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Vand Zn). Conversely, both stations are characterised by significant Hg contamination, compared to the local baseline. Results of a sequential extraction scheme on surface sediments suggest a relatively scarce mobility of the examined metals (Zn > Ni > Cr > As > Cu > Pb). A Hg-specific extraction procedure showed that most of the element (93.1 %) occurs in a fraction comprising Hg bound to Fe/Mn oxi-hydroxides. Reduction of these oxides may affect Hg remobilisation and redistribution. Porewater profiles of dissolved trace metals were quite similar in the two sites, although significant differences could be observed for Al, Cu, Fe and Hg. The highest diffusive fluxes were observed for As, Fe and Mn. Mobility rates of several trace elements (Al, As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, V and Zn) were directly measured at the sediment– water interface. Results from benthic in situ incubation experiments showed increasing dissolved metal concentrations with time, resulting in higher fluxes for Cu, Fe, Hg, V and Zn in the most contaminated site. Conversely, fluxes of Mn, Ni and Pb were comparable between the two stations. The estimated flux of Hg (97 μg m−2 day−1) was the highest observed among similar experiments conducted in other highly contaminated Mediterranean coastal environments. Benthic fluxes could be partially explained by considering rates of organic matter remineralisation, dissolution of Fe/Mn oxyhydroxides and metal speciation in sediments. Seasonal and spatial variation of biogeochemical parameters can influence metal remobilisation in the Mar Piccolo area. In particular, metals could be promptly remobilised as a consequence of oxygen depletion, posing a serious concern for the widespread fishing and mussel farming activities in the area.
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11356-015-5281-1
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2846446
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