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Spatial distribution of heavy metals in surface marine sediments in the Mediterranean region
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Several scientific articles were mainly reviewed from Umeå’ s university database in order to determine the distribution, degree of contamination, and the sources of 7 selected heavy metals (Cr, Pb, Cu, Zn, Cd, Hg, Ni) in surface sediments along the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea. The Enrichment factor (EF) was used as pollution indicator to evaluate the extent of metal contamination in all the investigated areas. According to Abrahim and Parker (2008) the EF is defined as the ratio of the determined metal to Al (or Fe) in the sample divided by the ratio of background metal to background Al (or Fe) ratio. According to the results of this study, EF values for Cr, Pb, Cu, Cd and Ni presented an upward trend along the west to east shoreline of the Mediterranean sea, whereas Zn and Hg EF values showed a downward trend along this region. Cr generally exhibited no enrichment in places to the west (EF<1.5) whereas in the eastern side displayed moderate enrichment (EF=1.95). Pb EF values showed moderate enrichment (EF=5) along the western section of the sea, whilst in the eastern part revealed significant enrichment (5.45). Zn pollution levels were minimal (EF=1.6) in places to the west and moderate (EF=2.2) to the east. The enrichment for Cd was considered moderate in the western part of the basin and significant in the eastern section. These heavy metals distribution can be explained by the fact that different inputs (mainly due to anthropogenic activities) from the inshore environment may take place in each area of the sea. However, Cu and Ni presented the same degree of pollution (moderate) in the whole sea, presumably indicating similar Cu and Ni inputs from the terrestrial environment. However, conclusions for Hg were not possible to be drawn as the collected data were not sufficient. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
heavy metals, pollution, spatial distribution, surface marine sediments, Mediterranean Sea, enrichment factor
National Category
Physical Geography Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-111066OAI: diva2:866750
Subject / course
Teoretisk Geoekologi
Educational program
Master's Programme in Geoecology
2015-10-30, 09:00 (English)
Available from: 2015-11-04 Created: 2015-11-03 Last updated: 2015-11-04Bibliographically approved

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Available from 2021-01-01 09:00

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