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Settling fluxes and ecotoxicological risk assessment of fine sedimentary metals in Tema Harbour (Ghana)

Botwe, Benjamin O., Nyarko, Elvis, Lens, Piet N.L.
Marine pollution bulletin 2018 v.126 pp. 119-129
anthropogenic activities, arsenic, chromium, copper, ecotoxicology, guidelines, iron, lead, manganese, mercury, nickel, pollution control, risk, sediment traps, sediments, tin, water pollution, zinc, Ghana
Sediment traps were deployed in the Tema Harbour to estimate the settling fluxes of silt-clay particles and associated metals (Fe, Mn, Pb, Cr, Cu, Zn, Ni, Hg, Sn and As) and characterise their potential ecotoxicological risks. The mean daily settling fluxes of the silt-clay particles and associated metals ranged from 42.7 to 85.0gm−2d−1 and 1.3×10−2 to 49.4mgm−2d−1, respectively, and were characterised by large fluctuations at each station. The silt-clay and metal fluxes strongly correlated, indicating the important role of the silt-clay particles in metal transport and distribution in the harbour. Geochemical indices indicated anthropogenic influences on the harbour as the Pb, Cr, Zn, Hg, Sn and As content in the settling silt-clay particles exceeded their average crustal concentrations. Sediment quality guidelines indicated these metals pose appreciable ecotoxicological risks, particularly As. Increasing temporal trends in As necessitates increased pollution control efforts at the harbour.