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Magnetic assessment and pollution status of beach sediments from Kerala coast (southwestern India)

Chaparro, Marcos A.E., Suresh, G., Chaparro, Mauro A.E., Ramasamy, V., Sundarrajan, M.
Marine pollution bulletin 2017 v.117 no.1-2 pp. 171-177
anthropogenic activities, coasts, hematite, magnetic properties, magnetism, magnetite, multivariate analysis, pollution load, radionuclides, sediments, India
Natural and anthropogenic activities along the coastal region of densely populated Kerala may introduce hazardous components into the coastal environment. The present study aimed to investigate the sources and impacts of hazardous components in beach sediments by environmental magnetism methods as additional tools. Magnetic parameters (such as mass-specific magnetic susceptibility χ=−1.2–154.4×10−8m3kg−1) and ratios that describe the magnetic properties of minerals such as Fe-oxides, indicate variable concentration of mixtures of magnetite and hematite (magnetite/hematite). The direct significant relationships between the variables indicate that higher concentration magnetic parameters are associated with higher radionuclides and metal contents. Magnetic properties and multivariate statistical analyses evidence the presence of contrasting groups defined only using a reduced number of magnetic variables. One of these groups, the central area of the Kerala coastline, showed the highest magnetic concentrations of mixtures of magnetite/hematite and higher values (up to 6.7) of pollution load index because of extensive anthropogenic activities.