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Evaluation of heavy metal pollution risk in surface sediment of the South Lagoon of Tunis by a sequential extraction procedure
Myriam Abidi, Asma Yahyaoui, Rim Ben Amor, Lassaad Chouba, Moncef Gueddari

In this study, the total concentrations and chemical forms of heavy metals (Fe, Zn, Pb, Cu, Cr, Cd, and Ni) in surface sediments of the South Lagoon of Tunis located in northeast Tunisia were investigated. Multiple geochemical indices were applied to assess the potential environmental risks. The South Lagoon is a valuable regional resource for fisheries, tourism and aquaculture. Total metal concentrations exhibited significant spatial variation attributed to the principal water circulation direction (east to west). The chemical speciation of Fe, Cr and Ni shows that they were mostly related to the residual fraction (Fe 34.8%, Cr 37.4% and Ni 37.9%), while Pb, Zn, Cu, and Cd were mostly related to the non-residual fraction (labile fraction Pb 89.4%, Zn 26.1%, Cu 71.8% and Cd 84.3%). Pb, Zn, Cu and Cr are of high potential bioavailability. The highest pollution was found on the west side of the lagoon according to the calculated global contamination factors. Besides, individual contamination factors, Pb followed by Zn and Cu, posed the highest risk of contamination. This study shows that, even after dredging, the persistence of low concentrations of some contaminants may cause environmental problems in certain physico-chemical conditions.

Keywords: heavy metal speciation; environmental risks; sediment pollution index; Mediterranean lagoon
Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 86(1) : 28-28 Back PDF
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