Environmental Geology and Water Sciences

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 209–219 | Cite as

Assessment of trace element geochemistry of Hampton Roads harbor and lower Chesapeake Bay area sediments

  • Joseph H. Rule


Acid extractable Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb. and Zn were determined in sediments from the Inner Virginia Shelf, and from shipping channels in the lower Chesapeake Bay and Hampton Roads, Virginia, harbor system. Data were evaluated by a variety of techniques Levels of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn exceeded average crustal abundances for most of the study sites. Cumulative frequency curves suggested that there were two major populations for all metals and perhaps a third and smaller, one for Cd, Cr, and Mn Plots of metal vs Fe indicated no anthropogenic inputs of metals for shelf and Chesapeake Bay channel sites, but suggested anthropogenic influences for all metals in several of the inshore sites. Enrichment factor calculations showed enrichment of Cd, Pb, and Zn with respect to average crustal abundances for all sites and of Cu for the industrial harbor system. A recommendation of this study for evaluation of environmental geochemical metals data is to utilize mean concentrations, cumulative frequency plots, and metal vs Fe and/or enrichment factor calculations when evaluating the pollution status of sediments.


Enrichment Factor Trace Element Geochemistry Sediment Metal Sinex Crustal Abundance 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph H. Rule
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geological SciencesOld Dominion UniversityNorfolk

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