Trace elements in an adjacent channel of an anthropized area: a case study of Baixada Santista, Southeastern Brazil
AbstractIn recent decades, due to intensive industrialization, the Baixada Santista has undergone an intense process of environmental degradation. The metals are toxic and persistent in varying concentrations and oxidation states and may be incorporated in sediments and biota. Thus, understanding the importance of this contamination is necessary for coastal planning. This study provides a basis for understanding the levels of metal and As contamination in the Bertioga Channel (SP). The levels of Al, As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sc, V and Zn in superficial sediment samples were determined by ICP-OES. The degree of sediment contamination was evaluated according to the sediment quality standards set by the Canadian environmental agency (ISQG and PEL) and by statistical tests. All values were below PEL, and most of the sample values were below ISQG, except for As, Cu and Pb. From a cluster analysis, it was possible to differentiate eastern and western parts of the channel due to their distinct hydrodynamic patterns. Furthermore, it was possible to separate the trace elements by geochemical behavior, in which Cu, Pb and Zn were linked to a small anthropogenic contribution. Thus, this study detected small anthropogenic contributions from an adjacent channel of an anthropized area, but most of the results were linked to natural geochemical processes.
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