Distribution of rare earth elements in marine sediments from the Strait of Sicily (western Mediterranean Sea): Evidence of phosphogypsum waste contamination

TitleDistribution of rare earth elements in marine sediments from the Strait of Sicily (western Mediterranean Sea): Evidence of phosphogypsum waste contamination
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsTranchida, G., Oliveri E., Angelone Massimo, Bellanca A., Censi P., D'Elia M., Neri R., Placenti F., Sprovieri M., and Mazzola S.
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Keywordsarticle, Calcium Sulfate, Carbonate fraction, Cerium, Chemical, Chemical analysis, Chemical composition, Clay minerals, Coarse-grained sediments, coastal sediment, Coastal sediments, concentration (parameters), contamination, controlled study, dysprosium, effluent, Effluents, environmental impact assessment, Environmental monitoring, Europium, fine grained sediment, Fine-grained sediment, fractionation, Fractionation patterns, Gadolinium, Geologic Sediments, gypsum, Industrial plants, Italy, lanthanide, Lanthanum, Lutetium, marine environment, Marine pollution, Marine sediments, Mean values, Mediterranean Sea, Metals, Neodymium, particle size, Phosphogypsum, Phosphorus, pollution monitoring, praseodymium, Rare Earth, rare earth element, Rare earths, Scandium, sea pollution, Seawater, sediment, sediment pollution, Sedimentology, Silicate minerals, Strait of Sicily, Submarine geology, Thorium, unclassified drug, Water Pollutants, Western Mediterranean Sea, Ytterbium, yttrium

Concentrations of rare earth elements (REE), Y, Th and Sc were recently determined in marine sediments collected using a box corer along two onshore-offshore transects located in the Strait of Sicily (Mediterranean Sea). The REE+Y were enriched in offshore fine-grained sediments where clay minerals are abundant, whereas the REE+Y contents were lower in onshore coarse-grained sediments with high carbonate fractions. Considering this distribution trend, the onshore sediments in front of the southwestern Sicilian coast represent an anomaly with high REE+Y concentrations (mean value 163.4μgg-1) associated to high Th concentrations (mean value 7.9μgg-1). Plot of shale-normalized REE+Y data of these coastal sediments showed Middle REE enrichments relative to Light REE and Heavy REE, manifested by a convexity around Sm-Gd-Eu elements. These anomalies in the fractionation patterns of the coastal sediments were attributed to phosphogypsum-contaminated effluents from an industrial plant, located in the southern Sicilian coast. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


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