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Chemo speciation of metals in surficial sediments of Nile delta coastal zone ecosystem, Egypt

Abstract

River Nile, Egyp’s most important watercourse, flows into the Mediterranean Sea by two estuaries forming a large Delta, within which lie three lagoons of varying morphological and hydrodynamic characteristics. Most estuaries receive a large quantity of wastewater input from different sources and also domestic due to the densely populated highly industrialized, leading to severe pollution of the coastal areas. Surface sediment samples were collected from six sectors and were examined for grain size and concentrations of heavy metals As, Cd, Mo, and Sn using a sequential extraction method and ecological risk assessment method. The results indicated: (1) the total concentrations of these heavy metals were influenced by runoff, industrial wastewater, and sewage, and were all higher in the coastal area (2) sequential extractions suggested that As and Mo were mainly composed with residual, Cd was bound to exchangeable and Sn was dominated by iron and manganese oxides fractions; The Contamination Factor (CF) for As, Cd, and Sn showed a very high degree of contamination while Mo showed low contamination in all study areas. The pollution load index (PLI) values were above one (> 1) indicates an advanced decline of the sediment quality. The average of the Igeo values for the studied metals indicated heavily polluted. The largest bioavailability factors were measured in all studied areas for Cd and Sn, and for As in El-Tina area, reflecting a potential risk to aquatic life. The ICF results showed the highest ability of Cd and Sn to be released from the sediments to the overlying water.

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Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank the National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (NIOF) for providing the samples used in this research which was part of a plan of work under title of sustainable development of fisheries in areas exposed to excessive exploitation.

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Correspondence to Maha Ahmed Mohamed Abdallah.

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Abdallah, M.A.M. Chemo speciation of metals in surficial sediments of Nile delta coastal zone ecosystem, Egypt. Mar Syst Ocean Technol 16, 43–53 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40868-021-00093-9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40868-021-00093-9

Keywords

  • Trace metals
  • Sediments
  • Pollution indicators
  • Environmental risk assessment
  • Nile delta