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Accumulation of trace metals in sediments in a Mediterranean Lagoon: Usefulness of metal sediment fractionation and elutriate toxicity assessment

Zaaboub, Noureddine, Martins, Maria Virgínia Alves, Dhib, Amel, Béjaoui, Béchir, Galgani, François, El Bour, Monia, Aleya, Lotfi
Environmental pollution 2015 v.207 pp. 226-237
acid volatile sulfides, bioassays, bioavailability, cadmium, chromium, copper, fractionation, lead, nickel, redox potential, sediments, toxicity, zinc, Tunisia
The authors investigated sediment quality in Bizerte Lagoon (Tunisia) focusing on geochemical characteristics, metal sediment fractionation and elutriate toxicity assessment. Nickel, Cu, Zn, Pb, Cr and Cd partitioning in sediments was studied; accumulation and bioavailability were elucidated using enrichment factors, sequential extractions, redox potential, acid volatile sulfide and biotest procedures in toxicity evaluation. Results revealed an accumulation for Pb and Zn, reaching 99 and 460 mg kg−1 respectively. In addition, the acid volatile sulfide values were high in both eastern and western lagoon areas, thus affecting metal availability. Mean enrichment factor values for Pb and Zn were 4.8 and 4.9, respectively, with these elements as the main contributors to the lagoon's moderate enrichment level. Toxicity levels were influenced by accumulation of Zn in different surface sediment areas. Core sediments were investigated in areas with the highest metal concentrations; metal fractionation and biotest confirmed that Zn contributes to sediment toxicity.