The Marano and Grado Lagoon (northern Adriatic Sea, Italy) is contaminated mainly by mercury (Hg) of mining and industrial origin. This work aims to investigate the sedimentary records of Hg of a tidal flat–saltmarsh (TF–S) system and to understand the role played by tidal fluxes in terms of the transport, accumulation and release of Hg due to the periodic flow of the tide. The complex history of the sources of Hg in the area of the TF–S system has resulted in several fluctuations of Hg in sediments over time; due to its higher sedimentation rate (1.3 cm year−1) than the subtidal areas of the Grado lagoon, the outer area of the TF–S system is more active in terms of accumulation (from 56 to 81 mg m−2 year−1) than the inner area. Fluxes were estimated at the mouth of a principal tidal creek by combining discrete hourly tidal flow measurements with weighed measurements of dissolved (DHg) and particulate (PHg) mercury obtained via water sample collection. Mercury, mainly in particulate form, is drained by the tidal creek from the marsh during a tidal semi-cycle. The highest flux of PHg was recorded during ebb tide in July (1071 mg). The calculation of the quantitative flows of PHg and DHg highlighted a tendency for Hg to be exported from the TF–S to the lagoon channel during a tidal semi-cycle. However, the results obtained here for the Hg fluxes do not allow for the depiction of a constant positive or negative budget as that found in the literature for macro-scale budget calculations at lagoon tidal inlets. A possible explanation for there being no constant trend in the PHg and DHg budget is that our TF–S system is located in a lagoon area where previous findings reported accretion or a balance situation between erosion and sedimentation processes.

The Role of a Tidal Flat–Saltmarsh System as a Source–Sink of Mercury in a Contaminated Coastal Lagoon Environment (Northern Adriatic Sea)

Elisa Petranich;Luca Terribili;Alessandro Acquavita;Elena Pavoni;Stefano Covelli
2020-01-01

Abstract

The Marano and Grado Lagoon (northern Adriatic Sea, Italy) is contaminated mainly by mercury (Hg) of mining and industrial origin. This work aims to investigate the sedimentary records of Hg of a tidal flat–saltmarsh (TF–S) system and to understand the role played by tidal fluxes in terms of the transport, accumulation and release of Hg due to the periodic flow of the tide. The complex history of the sources of Hg in the area of the TF–S system has resulted in several fluctuations of Hg in sediments over time; due to its higher sedimentation rate (1.3 cm year−1) than the subtidal areas of the Grado lagoon, the outer area of the TF–S system is more active in terms of accumulation (from 56 to 81 mg m−2 year−1) than the inner area. Fluxes were estimated at the mouth of a principal tidal creek by combining discrete hourly tidal flow measurements with weighed measurements of dissolved (DHg) and particulate (PHg) mercury obtained via water sample collection. Mercury, mainly in particulate form, is drained by the tidal creek from the marsh during a tidal semi-cycle. The highest flux of PHg was recorded during ebb tide in July (1071 mg). The calculation of the quantitative flows of PHg and DHg highlighted a tendency for Hg to be exported from the TF–S to the lagoon channel during a tidal semi-cycle. However, the results obtained here for the Hg fluxes do not allow for the depiction of a constant positive or negative budget as that found in the literature for macro-scale budget calculations at lagoon tidal inlets. A possible explanation for there being no constant trend in the PHg and DHg budget is that our TF–S system is located in a lagoon area where previous findings reported accretion or a balance situation between erosion and sedimentation processes.
6-apr-2020
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https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10498-020-09373-z
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/2961825
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