Spatial distribution of heavy metals in the coastal zone of “Sfax-Kerkennah” plateau, Tunisia

Authors

  • Ghannem Nedia,

    Corresponding author
    1. Département de Génie Géologique, Ecole Nationale d'Ingénieurs de Sfax, Route Soukra, Km 4, BP1173, Sfax 3038, Tunisia
    • Département de Génie Géologique, Ecole Nationale d'Ingénieurs de Sfax, Route Soukra, Km 4, BP1173, Sfax 3038, Tunisia
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  • Azri Chafai,

    1. Département des Sciences de la Terre, Faculté des Sciences de Sfax, Route Soukra Km 3,5, BP 1171, Sfax 3000, Tunisia
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  • Serbaji Mohammed Moncef,

    1. Département de Génie Géologique, Ecole Nationale d'Ingénieurs de Sfax, Route Soukra, Km 4, BP1173, Sfax 3038, Tunisia
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  • Yaich Chokri

    1. Département de Génie Géologique, Ecole Nationale d'Ingénieurs de Sfax, Route Soukra, Km 4, BP1173, Sfax 3038, Tunisia
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Abstract

The concentrations of selected heavy metals (Cr, Cd, Ni, Zn, Cu, Pb, Mn, and Fe) in surface sediments from the coastal zone of “Sfax-Kerkennah” plateau (Tunisia) were studied to understand the current degree of metal contamination. The geochemical analyses showed wide spatial variations in metal concentrations. Enrichment factors (EFs) and principal component analysis revealed two distinct groups of metals. The first group corresponded to Mn and Fe that were derived from natural sources, and the second group contained Cr, Cd, Ni, Zn, Cu and to a lesser degree Pb that originated from anthropogenic sources. The localized higher EF values that were in harmony with those of the spatial distribution of element concentrations confirmed the significant impact of anthropogenic activities. On the basis of geoaccumulation index values (Igeo), these activities were shown to be responsible for important sediment contamination, especially close to the coastline. © 2010 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog, 2011

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