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You are here: Home » Past Issues » Volume 7, 2012 - Number 2 » HEAVY METALS AND ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT IN MARINE SEDIMENTS OFF CHENNAI, INDIA


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SubramanianVEERASINGAM1, Ramdoss VENKATACHALAPATHY2 & Thirunavukkarasu RAMKUMAR3
1Department of Physics, Annamalai University, Annamalainagar- 608 002, Tamilnadu, India. Email: physicssingam@gmail.com
2*Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology, Faculty of Marine Sciences, Annamalai University, Parangipettai – 608 502, Tamilnadu, India. Email: venkatr5@rediffmail.com
3Department of Earth Sciences, Annamalai University, Annamalainagar – 608 002, Tamilnadu, India. Email: tratrj@gmail.com

HEAVY METALS AND ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT IN MARINE SEDIMENTS OFF CHENNAI, INDIA

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Abstract:

Enrichment of surface sediment with heavy metals (Cu, Cr, Ni, Pb and Zn) poses potential ecological risks off Chennai in the Bay of Bengal, India. The geo-accumulation index (Igeo) revealed that the value of Cr was typically high for all the sampling locations. Enrichment factor (EF) and Pollution Load Index (PLI) values showed that the northern part of the study area was more contaminated by heavy metals than the southern part. The silt content showed strong positive correlation with most of the metals as revealed by correlation matrix values. Multivariate statistical analyses indicated that Fe oxides, which usually concentrated in the fine particles, controlled the distribution of heavy metals. This study suggested that heavy metal input to the Chennai coast should be regulated in the future, particularly with regard to Cu, Cr and Ni, on the basis of Threshold Effect Level (TEL) and Effects Range-Low (ER-L) benchmarks. The results presented in this paper could be helpful in monitoring the further increase of heavy metal levels in the marine sediments along the coastal region.


Keyword: Marine Sediment, Heavy metals, Enrichment factor, Geo-accumulation index, Pollution load index, Bay of Bengal


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