Spatial and Temporal Distribution and Pollution Assessment of Trace Metals in Marine Sediments in Oyster Bay, NSW, Australia

  • Yasir M. Alyazichi
  • Brian G. Jones
  • Errol McLean


The disposal of untreated urban and industrial wastewater has a deleterious effect on both the water and sediment quality of Oyster Bay located in south Sydney, Australia. The present investigation was undertaken to evaluate the potential pollution of marine sediments in Oyster Bay. The results of metals were compared with adverse biological effect values effect range low (ERL) and effect range median (ERM). Spatial distribution of trace metals was estimated by applying geographic information system. The results indicated that the sediments were polluted with Cu, Zn, As and Pb, which exceeded ERL levels. However, these metals were still below ERM values, and other metals Cr and Ni were below ERL. Moreover, the highest concentrations of metals were around discharge points and in the inner bay. Further, trace metals could be attributed to human activities within the bay as they declined in concentrations with increasing sediment depth.


Oyster Bay Sediments Trace metals Hierarchical cluster analysis and Pollution 



This paper is a part of the first author’s PhD. thesis undertaken at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Wollongong. It was financially supported by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Iraqi Government and University of Wollongong.


  1. Alves AS, Adão H, Ferrero TJ, Marques JC, Costa MJ, Patrício J (2013) Benthic meiofauna as indicator of ecological changes in estuarine ecosystems: the use of nematodes in ecological quality assessment. Ecol Indic 24:462–475CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Birch GF (2011) Contaminated soil and sediments in a hghly developed catchment estuary system (Sydney estuary, Australia): an innovative stormwater remediation strategy. J Soils & Sediments 11:194–208Google Scholar
  3. Birch G, Taylor S (1999) Source of heavy metals in sediments of the Port Jackson estuary, Australia. Sci Total Environ 227:123–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chen C, Zheng B, Jiang X, Zhao Z, Zhan Y, Yi F, Ren J (2013) Spatial distribution and pollution assessment of mercury in sediments of Lake Taihu, China. J Environ Sci 25:316–325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Foster WJ, Armynot Du, Châtelet E, Rogerson M (2012) Testing benthic foraminiferal distributions as a contemporary quantitative approach to biomonitoring estuarine heavy metal pollution. Mar Pollut Bull 64:1039–1048CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hosono T, Su C-C, Delinom R, Umezawa Y, Toyota T, Kaneko S, Taniguchi M (2011) Decline in heavy metal contamination in marine sediments in Jakarta Bay, Indonesia due to, increasing environmental regulations. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 92:297–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hu G, Yu R, Zhao J, Chen L (2011) Distribution and enrichment of acid-leachable heavy metals in the intertidal sediments from Quanzhou Bay, southeast coast of China. Environ Monit Assess 173:107–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Huang P, Li TG, Li AC, Yu XK, Hu N-J (2014) Distribution, enrichment and sources of heavy metals in surface sediments of the north Yellow Sea. Cont Shelf Res 73:391–405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Irvine I, Birch GF (1998) Distribution of heavy metals in surficial sediments of Port Jackson, Sydney, New South Wales. Aust J Earth Sci 45:297–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Johnston CP, Chrysochoou M (2014) Mechanisms of chromate adsorption on hematite. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 138:146–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jones BG, Chenhall BE, Debretsion F, Hutton AC (2003) Geochemical comparisons between estuaries with non-industrialised and industrialised catchments: the Huon and Derwent River estuaries, Tasmania. Aust J Earth Sci 50:653–667CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kingsford MJ, Suthers IM (1996) The Influence of tidal phase on patterns of ichthyoplankton abundance in the vicinity of an estuarine front, Botany Bay, Australia. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 43:33–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Krivoruchko K (2011) Spatial statistical data analysis for GIS users. Esri Press, United StatesGoogle Scholar
  14. Ligero RA, Barrera M, Casas-Ruiz M, Sales D, López-Aguayo F (2002) Dating of marine sediments and time evolution of heavy metal concentrations in the Bay of Cádiz, Spain. Environ Pollut 118:97–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mc Lusky DS (1989) The estarine ecosystem (2 nd edition). Blackie Academic Professional, GlasgowCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Morelli G, Gasparon M, Fierro D, Hu WP, Zawadzki A (2012) Historical trends in trace metal and sediment accumulation in intertidal sediments of Moreton Bay, southeast Queensland, Australia. Chem Geol 300–301:152–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Norrish K, Chappell B (1977) X-ray fluorescence spectrometry. In: Zussman J (ed) Physical methods in determinative mineralogy, Academic Press, London, p 201–272Google Scholar
  18. Zhang W, Zhao D, Wang X (2013) Agglomerative clustering via maximum incremental path integral. Pattern Recognit 46:3056–3065CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Zoumis T, Schmidt A, Grigorova L, Calmano W (2001) Contaminants in sediments: remobilisation and demobilisation. Sci Total Environ 266:195–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yasir M. Alyazichi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Brian G. Jones
    • 1
  • Errol McLean
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Earth and Environmental SciencesUniversity of WollongongNSWAustralia
  2. 2.Dam and Water Resources Research CentreUniversity of MosulMosulIraq

Personalised recommendations