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Ciencias marinas

versão impressa ISSN 0185-3880

Resumo

GUTIERREZ-GALINDO, EA et al. Spatial distribution and enrichment of mercury in surface sediments off the northwest coast of Baja California, Mexico. Cienc. mar [online]. 2007, vol.33, n.4, pp.473-482. ISSN 0185-3880.

An evaluation was made of the distribution and enrichment of Hg in surface sediments collected in August 1998 at 37 stations along the northwest coast of Baja California (NCBC). Mercury was analyzed by cold-vapour atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The percentages of mud (<63 μm) and organic matter were also measured. Mercury concentrations showed a homogeneous spatial distribution in the study area. The mean concentration of Hg (58.2 ng g-1) was similar to that found in the Southern California Bight. Mercury enrichment was observed at four stations located in the northern and central zones of the study area. In general, the Hg concentrations (30.4-96.5 ng g-1) were relatively low and pose no environmental concerns according to North American marine sediment quality guidelines. No correlations were found between Hg and mud or organic matter, suggesting that these variables do not influence the concentration and spatial distribution of this element in sediments from NCBC.

Palavras-chave : Baja California; contamination; marine sediment; mercury.

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