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The potential use of sediments and suspended matter as a monitoring tool for pollution in estuaries and coastal regions
Regnier, P.; Wollast, R.; Hoenig, M. (1989). The potential use of sediments and suspended matter as a monitoring tool for pollution in estuaries and coastal regions, in: Pichot, G. (Ed.) Progress in Belgian Oceanographic Research 1989: proceedings of the North Sea Symposium held in Ghent, 14 February 1989. pp. 341-350
In: Pichot, G. (Ed.) (1989). Progress in Belgian Oceanographic Research 1989: proceedings of the North Sea Symposium held in Ghent, 14 February 1989. Management Unit of the Mathematical Model of the North Sea and Scheldt Estuary: Brussel. 451 pp., more

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Keyword
    Marine

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Abstract
    The use of sediments and suspended matter as a monitoring tool for pollution in estuaries and coastal regions is a matter of preoccupation of various national and international authorities. The sediments have obviously the advantage to integrate on a long time scale (depending on the sedimentation rate) modifications of the quality of the water column. Since many contaminants, organic and inorganic, are preferentially transferred from the aqueous phase to the suspended solid in the aquatic environment, sediments become thus rapidly the final depository for these contaminants. Sedimentation in the estuarine and coastal regions is a very complicated process influenced by the local hydrodynamical conditions. Deposited sediments may be further affected by physical and biological perturbations or early diagenetic reactions. The evaluation of background levels of contaminants prior to the disturbances due to human activities as a reference level constitutes also a delicate problem. Many of these problems can be solved by the use of adequate normalizing techniques. Our contribution is an at tempt to use the analysis of the fraction less than 20 µm or to normalize the concentrations of trace metals with respect to A1 in the case of suspended matter and sediments collected in the Scheldt in order to evaluate the degree of contamination of the estuary. The various original methods of collection of suspended matter, of size fractionation and of chemical analysis have been therefore developed and tested. Furthermore, a method based on the introduction of the solid sample previously dispersed in a viscous medium (slurry sampling) has been developed and applied to the analysis of suspended matter collected in the Scheldt Estuary.

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