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Quality Indicators and Possible Ecological Risks of Heavy Metals in the Sediments of three Semi-closed East Mediterranean Gulfs

1
Hellenic Agricultural Organisation—Demeter, Fisheries Research Institute (F.R.I.), 64007 N. Peramos, 64007 Kavala, Greece
2
Laboratory of Ecological Engineering and Technology, Department of Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, 67100 Xanthi, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxics 2019, 7(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics7020030
Received: 16 April 2019 / Revised: 20 May 2019 / Accepted: 23 May 2019 / Published: 29 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Risk Assessment and Risk Management)
Pollution with copper (Cu), lead (Pb), zinc (Zn), chromium (Cr), and nickel (Ni) heavy metals of the surface sediments collected from three semi-closed East Mediterranean Gulfs, namely Kavala, Strymonikos, and Ierissos Gulfs, North Aegean Sea, Greece, was investigated to evaluate potential benthic ecological risks. The mean concentrations of the studied metals decrease according to the order: Zn > Pb > Cr > Ni > Cu (176.50, 166.23, 127.41, 43.12, and 33.64 mg kg−1 dry weight). Quality indicators and possible ecological risks for metals in surface sediments were evaluated at 60 sampling sites of these three gulfs using the contamination factor (CF), the contamination degree (CD), the pollution load index (PLI), the geoaccumulation index (Igeo), the potential risk factor (PRFi), and the potential ecological risk index (PERI). Based on Igeo, the Ierissos Gulf sampling sites IER 2, 3, 7, and 9 exhibit moderate Pb pollution, whereas the sampling sites IER 6 and 8 show moderate to strong and strong Pb pollution, respectively. Based on the PRFi and PERI, the studied heavy metals did not pose any significant environmental risks for most of the investigated sites except IER 6 and 8 sampling sites, which may pose considerable environmental risk for Pb. To evaluate potential sources for each metal, multivariate techniques including hierarchical cluster analysis and ANOVA were used. View Full-Text
Keywords: heavy metals pollution; possible eco-risks; sediments; source identification; North Aegean Sea; Greece heavy metals pollution; possible eco-risks; sediments; source identification; North Aegean Sea; Greece
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Stamatis, N.; Kamidis, N.; Pigada, P.; Sylaios, G.; Koutrakis, E. Quality Indicators and Possible Ecological Risks of Heavy Metals in the Sediments of three Semi-closed East Mediterranean Gulfs. Toxics 2019, 7, 30.

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