Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 59, Issue 6, pp 1245–1266 | Cite as

A baseline study of trace metals in a coral reef sedimentary environment, Lakshadweep Archipelago

  • Anu Gopinath
  • S. M. NairEmail author
  • N. C. Kumar
  • K. V. Jayalakshmi
  • D. Pamalal
Original Article


Surficial and core samples collected from the sedimentary microenvironments of Lakshadweep Archipelago were analysed for their trace metal contents. The synoptical relations in spatial distributions with respect to environmental conditions such as pH, organic carbon and sediment texture were inter-correlated. Some of the metals exhibited good correlations with Fe/Mn, which reflect their similarity in distribution rather than anthropogenic enrichment. Inter-relating the variations in metal—pH relationships with metal—organic carbon, in general, those which exhibited positive correlations with pH, displayed negative interactions with organic carbon content and vice versa. Comparatively, higher values of Fe in the mangrove area of one of the islands highlight the possibility of precipitation of Fe as iron sulphides, which are common in mangrove ecosystem. Based on the contamination factors for Pb, Zn and Cd, as well as the geo-accumulation index of Cd, it can be generalised that some of the islands remain polluted with respect to these elements. An evaluation based on pollution load index shows that none of the islands surveyed for this study posed a serious threat in trace metal pollution. Bray Curtis similarity index was computed to find out the similarity among metals/islands, using non-transformed data of metal concentrations. Group linkage clustering technique was used for drawing dendrograms to show the similarity among them.


Trace metals Coral reef sediments Lakshadweep Indian Ocean Dendrograms 



We thank the Cochin University of Science and Technology for the use of its facilities. AG thanks DST, India, for the financial assistance. DP is grateful to The Director, CESS, India, for providing the necessary facilities.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anu Gopinath
    • 1
  • S. M. Nair
    • 2
    Email author
  • N. C. Kumar
    • 2
  • K. V. Jayalakshmi
    • 3
  • D. Pamalal
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of ChemistrySt. Teresa’s CollegeCochinIndia
  2. 2.Department of Chemical Oceanography, School of Marine SciencesCochin University of Science and TechnologyCochin-16India
  3. 3.National Institute of OceanographyCochinIndia
  4. 4.Centre for Earth Science StudiesTrivandrumIndia

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