, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 321-331
Date: 26 Oct 2005

Contamination of tsunami sediments in a coastal zone inundated by the 26 December 2004 tsunami in Thailand

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Tsunami sediments deposited in a coastal zone of Thailand by the 26 December 2004 tsunami wave were sampled within 50 days after the event. All surface and ground waters in tsunami- inundated zone revealed significant salinity at that time. The tsunami sediments, composed mainly of fine to medium sand, contain significantly elevated contents of salts (Na+, K+, Ca+2, Mg+2, Cl and SO 4 −2 ) in water-soluble fraction, and of Cd, Cu, Zn, Pb in the bioavailable fraction and As in the exchangeable fraction in relation to the reference sample. The origin of contaminants is marine, as well as litho- and anthropogenic. The salts and Pb, Zn and Cu reveal high correlation to each other and to the mean grain size (pore size and porosity). Serious environmental hazard exists in that region because, due to gentle morphology, there is a risk of migration of the contaminants into ground waters and food chain.