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Environ Monit Assess. 2014 Jun;186(6):3567-79. doi: 10.1007/s10661-014-3639-3. Epub 2014 Feb 12.

Spatial variation of acid-volatile sulfide and simultaneously extracted metals in Egyptian Mediterranean Sea lagoon sediments.

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  • 1Department of Aquatic Environment, Faculty of Fish Resources, Suez University, Suez, Egypt,


In risk assessment of aquatic sediments, the immobilizing effect of acid-volatile sulfide (AVS) on trace metals is a principal control on availability and associated toxicity of metals to aquatic biota, which reduces metal bioavailability and toxicity by binding and immobilizing metals as insoluble sulfides. Spatial variation pattern of AVS, simultaneously extracted metals (SEM), and sediment characteristics were studied for the first time in surface sediment samples (0-20 cm) from 43 locations in Egyptian northern delta lagoons (Manzalah, Burullus, and Maryut) as predictors of the bioavailability of some divalent metals (Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, and Ni) in sediments as well as indicators of metal toxicity in anaerobic sediments. The results indicated that the ∑SEM (Cu + Zn + Cd + Pb + Ni) values in sediments of lagoon Burullus had higher concentrations than those of Maryut and Manzalah. In contrast, AVS concentrations were considerably higher in lagoons Manzalah and Maryut and seemed to be consistent with the increase in organic matter than lagoon Burullus. Generally, the average concentrations of the SEM in all lagoons were in the order of Zn > Cu > Ni > Pb > Cd. The ratios of ∑SEM/AVS were less than 1 at all the sampling stations except at one station in lagoon Maryut as well as four stations located in lagoon Burullus (∑SEM/AVS > 1), which suggests that the metals have toxicity potential in these sediments. Therefore, SEM concentrations probably are better indicators of the metal bioavailability in sediments than the conventional total metal concentrations.

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