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Redox oscillation affecting mercury mobility from highly contaminated coastal sediments: a mesocosm incubation experiment

AuthorsEmili, A.; Carrasco Cabrera, Luis ; Acquavita, A.; Covelli, S.
Benthic chamber
Issue Date2013
PublisherEDP Sciences
CitationE3S Web of Conferences: 06003 (2020)
AbstractMercury (Hg) mobility at the sediment-water interface was investigated during a laboratory incubation experiment on highly contaminated sediments (up to 23 μg g−1) of the Gulf of Trieste. Undisturbed sediment was collected in front of the Isonzo River mouth, which inflows Hg-rich suspended material originating from the Idrija (NW Slovenia) mining district. Since hypoxic and anoxic conditions at the bottom are frequently observed, a redox oscillation was simulated in the laboratory at in situ temperature, using a dark flux chamber. Temporal variations of several parameters were monitored simultaneously: dissolved Hg and methylmercury (MeHg), O2, NH4+, NO3−+NO2−, PO43−, H2S, dissolved Fe and Mn, dissolved inorganic and organic carbon (DIC and DOC). Benthic fluxes of Hg and MeHg were higher under anoxic conditions while re-oxygenation caused concentrations of MeHg and Hg to rapidly drop, probably due to re-adsorption onto Fe/Mn oxyhydroxides and enhanced demethylation. Hence, during anoxic events, sediments of the Gulf of Trieste may be considered as an important source of dissolved Hg species for the water column. However, re-oxygenation of the bottom compartment mitigates Hg and MeHg release from the sediment, thus acting as a natural “defence” from possible interaction between the metal and the aquatic organisms.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1051/e3sconf/20130106003
Appears in Collections:(IDAEA) Artículos
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