Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, Volume 211, Issue 1–4, pp 95–111 | Cite as

Heavy Metal Contents and Distribution in Coastal Sediments of the Gulf of Trieste (Northern Adriatic Sea, Italy)

  • Alessandro AcquavitaEmail author
  • Sergio Predonzani
  • Giorgio Mattassi
  • Pietro Rossin
  • Francesco Tamberlich
  • Jari Falomo
  • Iztok Valic


A set of ten heavy metals (Al, As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, V, and Zn) was investigated in surface sediments (0–5 cm) collected in 21 sites of the Gulf of Trieste, Northern Adriatic Sea (Italy). The aim of this work was to obtain a preliminary assessment about the levels and spatial distribution of these selected elements. Ancillary parameters such as grain size, total organic carbon, and total nitrogen were also determined. The enrichment factor was calculated to discriminate if a natural condition or a status of anthropogenic contamination occurs. In addition, a set of sediment quality guidelines, mean effect low range and effect medium range quotients, was also applied in order to predict the probability of adverse biological effects on the benthic community.


Heavy metals Marine sediments Gulf of Trieste Enrichment factor Sediment quality guidelines 



This research has been supported by the Regione Autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia. Technical support for sample collection by Dr. Massimo Celio is gratefully acknowledged. We also thank an anonymous reviewer for his help in revising the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessandro Acquavita
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sergio Predonzani
    • 2
  • Giorgio Mattassi
    • 1
  • Pietro Rossin
    • 1
  • Francesco Tamberlich
    • 1
  • Jari Falomo
    • 2
  • Iztok Valic
    • 2
  1. 1.Osservatorio Alto AdriaticoARPA FVG (Agenzia Regionale per la Protezione dell’Ambiente)PalmanovaItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento Provinciale di TriesteARPA FVG (Agenzia Regionale per la Protezione dell’Ambiente)TriesteItaly

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