Istituto di Scienze Marine     
Zonta R., Collavini F., Zaggia L., Zuliani A. The effect of floods on the transport of suspended sediments and contaminants: A case study from the estuary of the Dese River (Venice Lagoon, Italy). In: Environment International, vol. 31 (7) pp. 948 - 958. Pergamon-elsevier Science Ltd, 2005.
A flood event was investigated in a measurement section of the estuary of the Dese River, the major tributary of the Venice Lagoon (mean annual discharge = 7.5 m(3)/s), to observe the variations induced by the flow on the physico-chemistry of the water column and the transport of particles and pollutants. The flood was generated by a typical summer storm, which had a return period of 2 years. The study was based on the continuous recording of the discharge and the measurement of both current speed and physico-chemical variables along the vertical profile. Water samples were also collected for the analysis of total and dissolved heavy metals (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Zn), and nutrients (TKN, N-NO3-, N-NO2-, N-NH3. total phosphorous, P-PO43-). The suspended particle matter (SPM) concentration increased in the water column during the flood, and the discharge versus SPM relationship showed a counterclockwise hysteresis. The occurrence of hysteresis was related to the delayed response of the load, deriving from the runoff on the basin soils with respect to materials mobilized from the streambed in the initial phases of the flood. The transport of most of the analysed heavy metals was driven by the SPM. The increase in concentration of this parameter significantly affected the amount of Fe, Cu. Pb, Cr, Ni, and partially Zn transported by the stream. Among nutrients, N-NO3- concentration also increased significantly during the flood, due to the runoff on agricultural surfaces. The study allowed describing the mechanisms of load generation with high flow magnitudes, highlighting the importance of floods in the transport of materials and pollutants from the drainage basin to the Venice Lagoon. (C) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2005.05.005
Subject floods
Dese River
Venice Lagoon

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