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Historical trends and assessment of radionuclides and heavy metals in sediments near an abandoned mine, Lavrio, Greece

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Abstract

Two sediment cores (coastal and offshore) and surface sediments were collected near an abandoned mine area in the marine environment of Oxygono Bay at Lavreotiki peninsula to investigate temporal and spatial variations among radionuclides and trace metals/major elements. Lavreotiki was and still is well known for the mining and metallurgical activities, which lasted from ancient times to nowadays (early 1980s). Gamma-ray and X-ray fluorescence measurements were held to determine the radionuclide and trace metal/major element concentrations, respectively. The sedimentation rate at Oxygono Bay coastal core was determined using the 210Pb and 137Cs tracers, while the enrichment factors were estimated to assess the anthropogenic influence due to metals in a spatial (surface sediments) and a temporal (coastal core sediments) basis. The mass flux at the coastal core was utilized to provide a baseline information at Lavreotiki peninsula. The trace metal/major element profiles were indeed associated with the mining activity in the area, revealing the mining history. The ERICA Tool was incorporated to estimate the dose rates due to natural and 137Cs radioactivity in the marine organisms and the values were found below the screening levels.

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Acknowledgments

Mrs F.K. Pappa would like to acknowledge A.G. Leventis Foundation for the financial support of her PhD thesis. The crew of the R/V AEGEAO and Dr. G. Rousakis are also acknowledged for providing the offshore sediment core between Lavreotiki peninsula and Makronisos Island.

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Correspondence to Filothei K. Pappa.

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Pappa, F.K., Tsabaris, C., Patiris, D.L. et al. Historical trends and assessment of radionuclides and heavy metals in sediments near an abandoned mine, Lavrio, Greece. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 30084–30100 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-018-2984-0

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