The accumulation of contaminants and their potential mobility represent two of the main environmental issues facing coastal environments. Sediments often act as “reservoirs” of contaminants, including potentially toxic trace elements, but they can also be considered a secondary source of contamination due to remobilisation processes at the sediment-water interface which may affect the quality of the coastal water and aquatic biota. This research aims to provide a geochemical characterisation of the estuarine system of the Timavo/Reka River, focusing on the occurrence of trace elements in different environmental matrices with the purpose of highlighting potential critical conditions in terms of environmental quality. The surface sediments were found to be enriched in several trace elements especially in the innermost sector of the area. There, sulphate-reductive conditions in the bottom saltwater testify to potential anoxia at the sediment-water interface, driving trace element accumulation in the residual fraction of the sediments. However, Fe and Mn redox behaviour appears to play a crucial role in the recycling of dissolved trace elements in the water column. With the lone exception of the saltwater in the innermost sector, trace elements were found to be mainly associated with suspended particles due to oxidation and precipitation processes, whereas a common lithogenic origin was identified for Cr, Ni, and Co, which are significantly correlated both in the surface sediments and in the suspended particles.

Distribution, Mobility and Fate of Trace Elements in an Estuarine System Under Anthropogenic Pressure: the Case of the Karstic Timavo River (Northern Adriatic Sea, Italy)

Elena Pavoni
;
Matteo Crosera;Elisa Petranich;Stefano Covelli;Gianpiero Adami
2021

Abstract

The accumulation of contaminants and their potential mobility represent two of the main environmental issues facing coastal environments. Sediments often act as “reservoirs” of contaminants, including potentially toxic trace elements, but they can also be considered a secondary source of contamination due to remobilisation processes at the sediment-water interface which may affect the quality of the coastal water and aquatic biota. This research aims to provide a geochemical characterisation of the estuarine system of the Timavo/Reka River, focusing on the occurrence of trace elements in different environmental matrices with the purpose of highlighting potential critical conditions in terms of environmental quality. The surface sediments were found to be enriched in several trace elements especially in the innermost sector of the area. There, sulphate-reductive conditions in the bottom saltwater testify to potential anoxia at the sediment-water interface, driving trace element accumulation in the residual fraction of the sediments. However, Fe and Mn redox behaviour appears to play a crucial role in the recycling of dissolved trace elements in the water column. With the lone exception of the saltwater in the innermost sector, trace elements were found to be mainly associated with suspended particles due to oxidation and precipitation processes, whereas a common lithogenic origin was identified for Cr, Ni, and Co, which are significantly correlated both in the surface sediments and in the suspended particles.
14-feb-2021
Epub ahead of print
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12237-021-00910-9
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2980315
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