ASSESSMENT OF HEAVY METAL CONTAMINATION AND DISTRIBUTION IN SURFACE SEDIMENTS OF THE JAZAN COAST, RED SEA, SAUDI ARABIAAbdul Jabbar Al-Rajab
Heavy metal pollution has become a worldwide environmental issue due to the significant increase of industrial activities. In this study, we determined the seasonal effect (summer and winter) of the concentrations of six heavy metals (copper Cu, iron Fe, magnesium Mg, manganese Mn, lead Pb, and zinc Zn) in the surface sediments along the Jazan coastal area of the Red Sea in Jazan, Saudi Arabia. Samples were collected from 14 stations in September 2014 (Summer) and February 2015 (Winter). Concentrations of heavy metals were measured by Inductively coupled argon plasma ICAP after digestion procedure. The mean concentrations of the investigated elements were higher in the samples collected in the winter campaign than in summer, albeit the concentration order of heavy metals remained the same. The concentration of Fe in sediments was higher than the other investigated heavy metals (mean of 49,835.2 mg Kg-1) in the following order: Fe > Mg > Mn > Zn > Pb > Cu. However, the determined concentrations of heavy metals in sediments were under the median effect range of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Moreover, special attention should be paid to the industrial activities along the Jazan coastal area to avoid any potential contamination of the ecosystem and the food chain. We recommend further investigations covering other heavy metals to determine the main pollution sources in the study area.
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