The contents of As, Cd, Cu, Cr, Mg, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn have been determined in sediment and water samples from Valle de las Garzas estuary and Port Manzanillo (Colima, Mexico) using ICP-AES. The concentrations of these elements were used for a comparative study to determine the distribution of heavy metals and to evaluate which elements reflect natural or anthropogenic backgrounds. For this purpose, seven sampling points were selected: Four of them correspond to the lagoon, and three were situated in the port. Statistical analysis of the mineral content was assessed. Initially, data comparison was assessed by statistical tests for each variable. Principal component analysis was then applied considering the influence of all variables at the same time by obtaining the distribution of samples according to their scores in the principal component space. In this way, four studies were carried out: (1) study of sediments collected during the dry season; (2) study of sediments collected during the rainy season; (3) comparative study between sediments from rainy and dry season; and (4) study of water composition collected during rainy season. From the results of the performed analyses, it can be concluded that metals distribution pattern reflected natural and anthropogenic backgrounds (e.g., sediments from the lagoon, situated at the beginning of the rain channel, presented high contents of Zn and Cu, perhaps related to anthropogenic activities or the influence of igneous sediments).
Trace metals Environmental analysis Sediments Superficial waters Principal component analysis
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Authors wish to thank CONACYT-México for the research grant provided and for the supported Project Number 280143 and to the department of ecology of the Integral Port Administration-Manzanillo (API-Manzanillo) for the support and facilities for the development of this study.
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