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Patterns of natural and human-made interacting processes on source, transport and fate of metal contaminants in the deep marine ecosystem of the adriatic sea basin

  • Autores: Marilia Lopes da Rocha
  • Directores de la Tesis: Roberta Guerra (dir. tes.), Leonardo Langone (codir. tes.)
  • Lectura: En la Universidad de Cádiz ( España ) en 2017
  • Idioma: español
  • Tribunal Calificador de la Tesis: Julián Blasco Moreno (presid.), E. García Luque (secret.), Peter Michael Chapman (voc.)
  • Materias:
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  • Resumen
    • Coastal areas are under continuous and increasing pressure from different human activities. These pressures can negatively impact or threaten coastal marine environment. Sediments are the final repositories for most trace metals, which can accumulate and remain in the sedimentary matrix for long periods of time and may accumulate through the food web, affecting marine biota, aquatic-dependent wildlife, and ultimately human health. The primary goal of this study has been to determine what controls the source, transport and fate of trace metals in recent and dated sediment cores retrieved in the western Adriatic Sea and in the deep southern Adriatic basin. With this information, important questions that concern the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MFSD), which aims to establish Good Environmental Status (GES) and to environmental policymakers in coastal areas were addressed: a) what is the ultimate fate of anthropogenic trace metals that were released into the Adriatic Sea in the past and remain in Adriatic coastal sediments today? b) what is the fate of trace metals that are currently being added to the Adriatic Sea by the Po River flow released now? and c) at what extent land derived metal contaminants are transferred and accumulated in the deep southern Adriatic Sea?. To answer these open questions, we first assessed the sources, transport and mass budget of major (Al, Fe and Ti) and trace metals (Cu, Cr, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) measured in surficial sediments and collected within the Late-Holocene mud-wedge in the western Adriatic Sea, in three sectors: North, Central and South of the Adriatic Sea. Then, we evaluated the historical, current levels and excess inventories of trace metals in sediments from the western Adriatic Sea down to the Strait of Otranto. Finally, we presented the first extensive dataset in trace metals measured in sediment cores and surficial sediments from the deep sea sediments from the southern Adriatic Sea. Our findings suggest that the Po prodelta River acts as both as a bypassing and accumulation zone and exports ~30% of trace metals associated with fine particles southward, being mainly accumulated in the Central Adriatic Sea. The anthropogenic signal of Pb and Zn can be recognized in sediment cores from the northern down to the Gargano Promontory with a 10 years delay, and there is a reduction of trace metal levels and accumulation with respect to the levels observed in 1985s. Finally, Zn and Pb enrichment in the deep sea reinforced the hypothesis on the transfer of contaminants from contaminated areas in the northern Adriatic to the deep southern Adriatic basin.

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