Heavy metals in mangrove sediments of the central Arabian Gulf shoreline, Saudi Arabia

  • Khaled Al-Kahtany
  • Abdelbaset El-Sorogy
  • Fahd Al-Kahtany
  • Mohamed Youssef
Original Paper


To assess heavy metals in mangrove swamps of Sehat and Tarut coastal areas along the Arabian Gulf, 18 sediment samples were collected for Al, V, Cr, Mn, Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, Hg, Sr, As, Fe, Co, and Ni analysis. The results indicated that the distribution of some metals was largely controlled by anthropogenic inputs, while others were of terrigenous origin and most strongly associated with distribution of aluminum and total organic carbon in sediments. Mangrove sediments were extremely severe enriched with Sr (EF = 67.59) and very severe enriched with V, Hg, Cd, Cu, As (EF = 44.28, 37.45, 35.77, 25.97, and 11.53, respectively). Average values of Sr, V, Hg, Cd, Cu, Ni, As, and Cr were mostly higher than the ones recorded from the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aqaba, the Caspian Sea, the Arabian and Oman gulfs, coast of Tanzania, sediment quality guidelines, and the background shale and the earth crust. Landfilling due to coastal infrastructure development around mangrove forests, oil spills and petrochemical and desalination effluents from Al-Jubail industrial city to the north were the anthropogenic activities that further enhanced heavy metals in the studied mangrove sediments.


Heavy metals Mangrove sediments Arabian Gulf Saudi Arabia 



The authors would like to extend their sincere appreciation to the Deanship of Scientific Research at King Saud University for its funding this research group No. (RG-1438-060).


  1. Akin BS, Kırmızıgu O (2017) Heavy metal contamination in surface sediments of Gokcekaya dam Lake, Eskis¸ehir, Turkey. Environ Earth Sci 76:402CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Al-Ali AM, Del Campoand AG, Rocha C (2015) Environmental assessment of mangrove communities in Tarut Bay, Eastern Arabian Peninsula, based on multidisciplinary approach. The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, Volume XL-7/W3, 2015, 36th International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment, 11–15 May 2015, Berlin, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  3. Alharbi T, El-Sorogy A (2017) Assessment of metal contamination in coastal sediments of al-Khobar area, Arabian gulf, Saudi Arabia. J Afr Earth Sci 129:458–468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Almahasheer H, Al-Taisan W, Mohamed MK (2013) Mangrove deterioration in Tarut Bay on the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Pakhtunkhwa. J Life Sci 1:49–59Google Scholar
  5. Almasoud FI, Usman AI, Al-Farraj AS (2015) Heavy metals in the soils of the Arabian Gulf coast affected by industrial activities: analysis and assessment using enrichment factor and multivariate analysis. Arab J Geosci 8(3): 1691–1703Google Scholar
  6. Al-Taani AA, Batayneh A, Nazzal Y, Ghrefat H, Elwadi E, Zaman H (2014) Status of trace metals in surface seawater of the Gulf of Aqaba, Saudi Arabia. Mar Pollut Bull 86:582–590CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Birch G (2003) A scheme for assessing human impacts on coastal aquatic environments using sediments. In: Woodcoffe CD, Furness RA (eds) Coastal GIS. Wollongong University Papers in Center for Maritime Policy, Australia, p 14Google Scholar
  8. Cosma B, Drago M, Piccazzo M, Scarponiand G, Tucci S (1979) Heavy metals in Ligurian Sea sediments: distribution of Cr, Cu, Ni, and Mn in superficial sediments. Mar Chem 8:125–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Diaz-de Alba M, Galindo-Riano MD, Casanueva-Marenco MJ, Garcia-Vargas M, Kosore CM (2011) Assessment of the metal pollution, potential toxicity and speciation of sediment from Algeciras Bay (south of Spain) using chemometric tools. J Hazard Mater 190:177–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. El-Sorogy AS, Tawfik M, Almadani SA, Attiah A (2016) Assessment of toxic metals in coastal sediments of the Rosetta area, Mediterranean Sea, Egypt. Environ Earth Sci 75:398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. El-Sorogy A, Al-Kahtany K, Youssef M, Al-Kahtany F, Al-Malky M (2018) Distribution and metal contamination in the coastal sediments of Dammam Al-Jubail area, Arabian Gulf, Saudi Arabia. Mar Pollut Bull 128:8–16Google Scholar
  12. Fang TH, Li JY, Feng HM, Chen HY (2009) Distribution and contamination of trace metals in surface sediments of the East China Sea. Mar Environ Res 68:178–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Getter CD, Scott GI, Michel J (1981) The effects of oil spills on mangrove forests: A comparison of five oil spill sites in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. International Oil Spill Conference Proceedings 1:535–540Google Scholar
  14. Hökanson L (1980) An ecological risk index for aquatic pollution control. A sedimentological approach. Water Res 14:975–1001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. ISQG (1995) Interim sediment quality guidelines. Environment Canada, Ottawa 9 ppGoogle Scholar
  16. Jusoff K (2008) Geospatial information technology for conservation of coastal forest and mangroves environment in Malaysia. Comp Inform Sci 1(2)Google Scholar
  17. Khan MA, Kumar A (2009) Impact of ‘urban development’ on mangrove forests along the west coast of the Arabian gulf. E-J Earth Sci India 2:159–173Google Scholar
  18. Leopold EN, Jung MC, Auguste O, Ngatcha N, Georges E, Lape M (2008) Metals pollution in freshly deposited sediments from river Mingoa, main tributary to the municipal lake of Yaounde, Cameroon. Geosci J 12(4):337–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lin C, He M, Liu S, Li Y (2012) Contents, enrichment, toxicity and baselines of trace elements in the estuarine and coastal sediments of the Daliao River system, China. Geochem J 46:371–380CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Long ER, MacDonald DD, Smith SL, Calder FD (1995) Incidence of adverse biological effects within ranges of chemical concentrations in marine and estuarine sediments. Environ Manag 19:18–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. de Mora S, Fowler SW, Wyse E, Azemard S (2004) Distribution of heavy metals in marine bivalves, fish and coastal sediments in the Gulf and gulf of Oman. Mar Pollut Bull 49:410–424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Muller G (1979a) Heavy metals in the sediment of the Rhine-changes seity, 1971. Umsch Wiss Tech 79:778–783Google Scholar
  23. Muller G (1979b) Index of geoaccumulation in sediments of the Rhine River. GeoJournal 2(3):108–118Google Scholar
  24. Neser G, Kontas A, Unsalan D, Uluturhan E, Altay O, Darılmaz E, Kucuksezgin F, Tekoguland N, Yercan F (2012) Heavy metals contamination levels at the coast of Aliaga (Turkey) shiprecycling zone. Mar Pollut Bull 64:882–887CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Nour H, Abdelwahaband M, El-Sorogy AS (2006) Heavy metals distribution in some mangrove sediments of the southern Red Sea coast, Egypt. 8th Intern. Conf., Geo Arab World Cairo Univ, 25–32Google Scholar
  26. Omar MB, Mendiguchia C, Er-Raioui H, Marhraoui M, Lafraoui G, Oulad-bdellah MK, Garcia-Vargas M, Moreno C (2015) Distribution of heavy metals in marine sediments of Tetouan coast (north of Morocco): natural and anthropogenic sources. Environ Earth Sci 74:4171–4185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rumisha C, Elskens M, Leermakers M, Kochzius M (2012) Trace metal pollution and its influence on the community structure of soft bottom molluscs in intertidal areas of the Dar es salaam coast, Tanzania. Mar Pollut Bull 64:521–531CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Saifullah SM (1994) Mangrove ecosystem of Saudi Arabian Red Sea coast—an overview. J King Abdul Aziz Univ: Marine Sci Special lssue: Symposium on Red Sea Marine Environ Jeddah 7:263–270Google Scholar
  29. Savvides C, Papadopoulos A, Haralambous K, Loizidou M (1995) Sea sediments contaminated with heavy metals: speciation and removal. Water Sci Technol 32(9–10):65–73Google Scholar
  30. Shriadah MMA (1999) Heavy metals in mangrove sediments of the United Arab Emirates shoreline (Arabian gulf). Water Air Soil Pollut 116:523–534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sinex SA, Helz GR (1981) Regional geochemistry of trace elements in Chesapeake Bay sediments. Environ Geol 3:315–323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Taylor SR (1964) Abundance of chemical elements in the continental crust: a new table. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 28:1273–1285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Turekian KK, Wedepohl KH (1961) Distribution of the elements in some major units of the earth’s crust. Geol Soc Am 72:175–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Vallius H, Lehto O (1998) The distribution of some heavy metals and arsenic in recent sediments from the eastern gulf of Finland. Appl Geochem 13:369–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Youssef M, El-Sorogy AS, Al-Kahtany KH, Al-Otaibi N (2015) Environmental assessment of coastal surface sediments Tarut Island, Arabian gulf (Saudi Arabia). Mar Pollut Bull 96:424–433CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Zamani-Ahmadmahmoodi R, Jafari A, Alibeygi-beni H (2017) Potential ecological risk assessment, enrichment, geoaccumulation, and source identification of metals in the surface sediments of Choghakhor wetland, Iran. Environ Earth Sci 76:398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Zhang J, Liu C (2002) Riverine composition and estuarine geochemistry of particulate metals in Chinadweathering features, anthropogenic impact and chemical fluxes. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 54:1051–1070CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Khaled Al-Kahtany
    • 1
  • Abdelbaset El-Sorogy
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fahd Al-Kahtany
    • 3
  • Mohamed Youssef
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Geology and Geophysics Department, College of ScienceKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Geology Department, Faculty of ScienceZagazig UniversityZagazigEgypt
  3. 3.Ministry of Energy and Industry and Mineral ResourcesRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  4. 4.Geology Department, Faculty of ScienceSouth Valley UniversityQenaEgypt

Personalised recommendations