Scientia Marina, Vol 74, No S1 (2010)

Concentration, enrichment and distribution of heavy metals in surface sediments of the Tangier Bay, Morocco


https://doi.org/10.3989/scimar.2010.74s1107

María Rocío Rodríguez-Barroso
Department of Environmental Technologies, University of Cadiz , Spain

Youssef Benhamou
Department of Environmental Technologies, University of Cadiz , Spain

Bouchta El Moumni
Department of Earth Sciences and Oceanology, University of Abdelmalek , Morocco

Dolores Coello
Department of Environmental Technologies, University of Cadiz , Spain

José Luis García-Morales
Department of Environmental Technologies, University of Cadiz , Spain

Abstract


The distribution, enrichment, and accumulation of heavy metals in the surface sediments of the Tangier Bay, Morocco, were investigated. Surface sediment samples from eleven locations in the Bay of Tangier were collected in 2007 and characterized for grain size, organic matter and metal content (e.g. Fe, Mn, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn and Cd). The evaluation of the heavy metal contamination status of the bay showed minor enrichment by the enrichment factors (EF) calculation, corroborated by the metal pollution index (MPI). The results of a Pearson correlation showed high positive correlations among organic carbon and most metals (0.788 < r < 0.939) and cluster analysis grouped the stations inside the harbour (stations 1, 10 and 9) and in the vicinity of the principal rivers in the bay (stations 3 and 11), which showed the highest concentrations of metal content. The main sources of contamination are domestic and industrial effluents, which arise due to the lack of sewage treatment. However, these areas could not be classified as polluted when the data were compared with sediment quality guidelines (USEPA, 1997).

Keywords


metals; contamination; sediments; Tangier Bay; enrichment factors; Tangier Harbour; Morocco

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