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Overview of trace metal contamination in the Scheldt estuary and effect of regulatory measures
Baeyens, W.F.J.; Leermakers, M.; De Gieter, M.; Nguyen, H.L.; Parmentier, K.; Panutrakul, S.; Elskens, M. (2005). Overview of trace metal contamination in the Scheldt estuary and effect of regulatory measures. Hydrobiologia 540(1-3): 141-154.
Ook verschenen in:
Meire, P.; Van Damme, S. (Ed.) (2005). Ecological structures and functions in the Scheldt Estuary: from past to future. Hydrobiologia, 540(1-3). Springer: Dordrecht. 1-278 pp., meer
Peer reviewed article  

Beschikbaar in  Auteurs 

    Particulates > Suspended particulate matter
    Trace elements > Trace metals
    België, Zeeschelde [Marine Regions]
    Marien/Kust; Brak water

Auteurs  Top 
  • Baeyens, W.F.J., meer
  • Leermakers, M., meer
  • De Gieter, M., meer
  • Nguyen, H.L., meer
  • Parmentier, K., meer
  • Panutrakul, S., meer
  • Elskens, M., meer

    Seasonally, dissolved and particulate metal concentrations in the Scheldt estuary were assessed over a period of 4 years (1995–1998). High quality data were obtained following stringent analytical protocols for each step: sampling, sample treatment, sample storage and analysis. Of the 5 trace metals, Ni showed the most conservative behaviour, while Cd and Cu were clearly transferred from the particulate to the dissolved phase in the middle estuary. A substantial part of the particulate metals entering the estuarine system are lost through sedimentation. General seasonal patterns are the following: lower concentrations in spring and higher ones in winter (sometimes late fall/early winter) for dissolved metals, while in summer a pronounced rise of the longitudinal concentration profile is observed for the particulate metals. A comparison of the trace metal concentrations (dissolved and particulate) at the mouth of the estuary in 1995–1998 with those from 1981 to 1983, reveal reductions between 30 and 58%. Reductions based on direct emission measurements for almost the same period suggest reductions (dissolved + particulate) between 42 and 64%. Biomagnification (BMF) is the accumulation of a compound through the food-chain. It is in our case expressed as the ratio of the metal concentration in the organism (µg g–1, d.w.)/the metal concentration in total suspended matter (µg g–1, d.w.). Almost all BMF-values of Periwinkle, Nereis diversicolor and Macoma balthica (3 bottom organisms in the Scheldt estuary) are negative meaning that these organisms contain less heavy metals than the particulate suspended matter. For all organisms log BMFs for Pb, respectively Ni, are around –1.8, respectively –0.7. For Cd, Periwinkle shows slight enrichment (0.05) and for Cu even more (0.45), while negative values were observed for Nereis diversicolour and Macoma balthica. The latter organisms are more enriched in Zn (–0.09) than Periwinkle (–0.43).

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