Trace metals in shallow sediments from the Mediterranean coastal region of Israel

Barak Herut, Hava Hornung, Michael D. Krom, Nurit Kress, Yuval Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Concentrations of mercury, lead, copper, zinc, cadmium, iron and aluminium were recorded in coastal and river mouths surficial sediments, collected along the Mediterranean coast of Israel, during 1988-1991. The levels of trace metal concentrations when normalized against Fe concentration (trace metal/iron ratios) indicated no contamination at most of the stations along the coast. Enrichment of Hg, Cu, Zn and Cd attributed to land-based point sources of pollution, was found in the estuaries of the Kishon and Yarkon rivers. The normalized Pb, Cu and Zn data showed a trend of increasing values from the south toward the north. This S-N trend could be a result of three processes which may be occurring simultaneously: progressive mixing between sediment with a low trace metal/iron ratio in the south, which probably represents a single source derived from the Nile region with (a) non-point source input of pollutants by atmospheric transport, or (b) with point sources of pollutants introduced by rivers and streams, or (c) a natural change in the mineralogy of the sediments along the coast with a relative increase in the trace metals or a decrease in iron as one progresses further north. The relative importance of these three possible processes remains to be established.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)675-682
Number of pages8
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution


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