The Isonzo River has been demonstrated to be a continuing point source of mercury (Hg) in the Gulf of Trieste although the Idrija mine was last active in 1996. The present study aims to investigate the role of the suspended particulate matter (SPM) associated with tidal fluxes to disperse particulate Hg (PHg) into the Grado coastal lagoon system. PHg concentrations (avg. 3.11 ± 2.62 μg/g, d.w.), notwithstanding the ebb or flood tides, were significantly higher than the local sediment background (0.13 μg/g). The relative affinity of Hg for the particulate phase in surface waters was confirmed by higher average distribution coefficient (Kd) values (5.6–6.7). PHg contents showed the highest values in ebb tide conditions, thus suggesting their origin from the erosion of tidal flats and saltmarshes of the lagoon. When compared to river discharge, high PHg surface concentrations in flood tide are related to rainfall events ccurring within the river basin. Results can be used to make an indicative assessment of the amount of Hg bound to SPM which is transported in and out of the lagoon basin following the action of tidal fluxes. A simple estimation provides a negative budget for the Grado lagoon sub-basin which loses between 0.14 and 1.16 kg of PHg during a tidal semi-cycle. This conclusion is in agreement with the evidence of morphological deterioration which has emerged from recent studies on the lagoon environment, and which testifies to a current sedimentary loss from the lagoon into the northern Adriatic Sea.

Suspended particulate mercury associated with tidal fluxes in a lagoon environment impacted by cinnabar mining activity (northern Adriatic Sea)

Alessandro Acquavita;Annelore Bezzi;Stefano Covelli
;
Giorgio Fontolan;Elisa Petranich;Raffaella Piani;Simone Pillon
2018-01-01

Abstract

The Isonzo River has been demonstrated to be a continuing point source of mercury (Hg) in the Gulf of Trieste although the Idrija mine was last active in 1996. The present study aims to investigate the role of the suspended particulate matter (SPM) associated with tidal fluxes to disperse particulate Hg (PHg) into the Grado coastal lagoon system. PHg concentrations (avg. 3.11 ± 2.62 μg/g, d.w.), notwithstanding the ebb or flood tides, were significantly higher than the local sediment background (0.13 μg/g). The relative affinity of Hg for the particulate phase in surface waters was confirmed by higher average distribution coefficient (Kd) values (5.6–6.7). PHg contents showed the highest values in ebb tide conditions, thus suggesting their origin from the erosion of tidal flats and saltmarshes of the lagoon. When compared to river discharge, high PHg surface concentrations in flood tide are related to rainfall events ccurring within the river basin. Results can be used to make an indicative assessment of the amount of Hg bound to SPM which is transported in and out of the lagoon basin following the action of tidal fluxes. A simple estimation provides a negative budget for the Grado lagoon sub-basin which loses between 0.14 and 1.16 kg of PHg during a tidal semi-cycle. This conclusion is in agreement with the evidence of morphological deterioration which has emerged from recent studies on the lagoon environment, and which testifies to a current sedimentary loss from the lagoon into the northern Adriatic Sea.
2018
19-dic-2017
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http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S100107421731968X
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/2914940
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