Istituto di Scienze Marine     
Mugnai C., Bertolotto R. M., Gaino F., Tiberiade C., Bellucci L. G., Giuliani S., Romano S., Frignani M., Albertazzi S., Galazzo D. History and Trends of Sediment Contamination by Heavy Metals Within and Close to a Marine Area of National Interest: The Ligurian Sea off Cogoleto-Stoppani (Genoa, Italy). In: Water Air and Soil Pollution, vol. 211 pp. 69 - 77. Springer Netherlands, 2010.
Due to its remarkable sediment pollution caused by past industrial activities, the Mediterranean coastal area facing the town of Cogoleto (near Genoa) has been declared of “national interest”. Seven sediment cores were analysed to provide information on history and trend of heavy metal inputs, with a particular focus on Cr. Grain-size compositions and 210 Pb chronologies account for a strong influence of terrigenous inputs near the coast and the mouth of the Lerone Creek (draining the industrial settlement), with sand contents and accumulation rates varying from 40.3% and 0.7 cm year −1 near shore to 2.5% and 0.1 cm year −1 offshore. Heavy metal concentrations are high, notably Cr and Ni, and to a lesser extent, Ag, Hg, Pb, Cu and Zn. Cr, that shows past values up to 3,642 µg g −1 , presents only minor recent decreases. In the area, it has both natural and anthropogenic sources and their relative contributions were distin- guished on the basis of Cr/Ni ratios. These are 1–1.5 in soils and rocks of the Lerone Creek catchment area but reach very high values (up to 10) in marine sediments due to the anthropogenic contribution. The anthropogenic influence is higher near the creek mouth, gradually decreases offshore and is negligible at the most distal site (ca. 2.9 km from the coast).
URL: http://www.springerlink.com/content/d2584635515177n4/
DOI: DOI 10.1007/s11270-009-0281-8
Subject Sediment pollution
Heavy metals
Sediment chronology
Ligurian Sea

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