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Sources and sinks of sediment-bound contaminants in the Gulf of Lions (NW Mediterranean Sea): A multi-tracer approach

Roussiez, Vincent and Ludwig, Wolfgang and Monaco, André and Probst, Jean-Luc and Bouloubassi, Joanna and Buscail, Roselyne and Saragoni, Gilles Sources and sinks of sediment-bound contaminants in the Gulf of Lions (NW Mediterranean Sea): A multi-tracer approach. (2006) Continental Shelf Research, vol. 2 (n°16). pp. 1843-1857.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.csr.2006.04.010

Abstract

Surficial sediments collected in 2002 throughout the Gulf of Lions continental shelf (NW Mediterranean) were analysed for trace metals (Cd, Co, Cr, Cs, Cu, Ni, Pb, Sr, Zn and Zr), major elements (Al, Ca, Fe, P and Ti) and the sewage marker coprostanol. In addition, particle size distribution, organic carbon (OC) and carbonates were also determined. Results showed that the metal contamination (Cd, P, Cu, Pb and Zn) is mainly introduced by the local rivers and accumulates—via a regulation by OC and silt fraction (2–63 mm)—in the direct vicinity of the mouths, in high shear stress environments. Here also the signal of sewage contamination is the best preserved, especially off the eastern point sources where local sedimentation rates save the faecal marker from biodegradation processes. It is demonstrated that the shallow prodeltas are the first repository areas for land-derived particles, exposing local ecosystems to both inorganic and organic contaminations. When going seaward, however, sediment dilution, particle sorting and biodegradation processes make that most riverborne contaminants rapidly reach natural levels. Only some metals (i.e. Pb and Zn)—closely associated with the clay fraction—still depict anthropogenic enrichment, which seems to be inherited from man-made aerosols.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Elsevier editor. The definitive version is available at http://www.sciencedirect.com The original PDF of the article can be found at Continental Shelf Research website : http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/662/description#description
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - IRD
Other partners > Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris 6 - UPMC (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Paul Sabatier-Toulouse III - UPS
French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS
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Deposited By: Florence Amor
Deposited On:10 Mar 2010 10:18

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