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Water 2017, 9(5), 338; doi:10.3390/w9050338

Dynamics of Suspended Sediments during a Dry Season and Their Consequences on Metal Transportation in a Coral Reef Lagoon Impacted by Mining Activities, New Caledonia

1
Analytical and Environmetal Laboratory (AEL), Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)-Nouméa, BP A5, 98800 Nouméa, Nouvelle-Calédonie
2
Aix Marseille University, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), IRD, Unité Mixte de Recherche CEREGE, 13545 Aix en Provence CEDEX 05, France
3
Unité Mixte de Recherche LEGOS, Université de Toulouse, IRD, Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), CNRS, Université Paul Sabatier (UPS), 14 avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
4
Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography (MIO), Unité Mixte de Recherche 110, IRD, CNRS/Institut National des Sciences de l’Univers (INSU), Aix Marseille Université, Université de Toulon, 13284 Marseille, France
5
CINaM-CNRS-Aix-Marseille Université, Campus de Luminy Case 913, 13288 Marseille CEDEX 9, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Roger A. Falconer
Received: 30 March 2017 / Revised: 8 May 2017 / Accepted: 8 May 2017 / Published: 10 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sediment Transport in Coastal Waters)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [9969 KB, uploaded 10 May 2017]   |  

Abstract

Coral reef lagoons of New Caledonia form the second longest barrier reef in the world. The island of New Caledonia is also one of the main producers of nickel (Ni) worldwide. Therefore, understanding the fate of metals in its lagoon waters generated from mining production is essential to improving the management of the mining activities and to preserve the ecosystems. In this paper, the vertical fluxes of suspended particulate matter (SPM) and metals were quantified in three bays during a dry season. The vertical particulate flux (on average 37.70 ± 14.60 g·m2·d−1) showed fractions rich in fine particles. In Boulari Bay (moderately impacted by the mining activities), fluxes were mostly influenced by winds and SPM loads. In the highly impacted bay of St Vincent and in the weakly impacted bay of Dumbéa, tide cycles clearly constrained the SPM and metal dynamics. Metals were associated with clay and iron minerals transported by rivers and lagoonal minerals, such as carbonates, and possibly neoformed clay as suggested by an unusually Ni-rich serpentine. Particle aggregation phenomena led to a reduction in the metal concentrations in the SPM, as identified by the decline in the metal distribution constants (Kd). View Full-Text
Keywords: suspended sediment; sediment transport; lagoon; geochemistry; Ni mining; sediment trap; hydrodynamics; New Caledonia; dry season suspended sediment; sediment transport; lagoon; geochemistry; Ni mining; sediment trap; hydrodynamics; New Caledonia; dry season
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Fernandez, J.-M.; Meunier, J.-D.; Ouillon, S.; Moreton, B.; Douillet, P.; Grauby, O. Dynamics of Suspended Sediments during a Dry Season and Their Consequences on Metal Transportation in a Coral Reef Lagoon Impacted by Mining Activities, New Caledonia. Water 2017, 9, 338.

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