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An analysis of the spatial trend of concentrations and of the correlation between heavy metals and total suspended matter was performed in a multidisciplinary study of transport of pollutants in the marine coastal area, involving in situ investigations, remote sensing techniques and modelling. This paper presents results concerning the chemical behaviour of heavy metals (Cu, Cd, Pb) in the North Adriatic Sea and in particular in the marine deltaic area of the Po river. The samples were collected during the JRC Remote Sensing Campaigns ADRIA 84 and ADRIA 85, carried out in the entire North Adriatic Sea and in the selected area of the Po when passing from the fluvial to the marine environment. In the dissolved phase, Cu undergoes a dilution process consistent with the mixing theory, while there is a tenfold increase in Pb concentrations. A pronounced tendency to augment the level in the dissolved phase is observed for all three elements in the pelagic waters. In the particulate phase, after a diminution in the nearshore stations, the concentration of Cd and Cu increases as the pelagic area is approached. The total amount of heavy metals in solid phase in water decreases according to the dispersion and the sedimentation processes of the fluvial load in the marine water. A satisfactory correlation was found between Cu and Pb with the total suspended matter (TSS). An attempt was made to characterise sediments and suspended matter in order to assess the role of the organic and mineralogical components on heavy metal behaviour.

Additional information

Authors: FERRARI G M, JRC Ispra Estab., 21020 Ispra (VA) (IT);FERRARIO P, JRC Ispra Estab., 21020 Ispra (VA) (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Water, Air, Soil Pollution, Vol. 43 (1989), pp. 323-343
Record Number: 198911053 / Last updated on: 1994-12-01
Original language: en
Available languages: en