Heavy metal content and potential ecological risk assessment of sediments from Khnifiss Lagoon National Park (Morocco)

TitleHeavy metal content and potential ecological risk assessment of sediments from Khnifiss Lagoon National Park (Morocco)
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsTnoumi, Ali, Angelone Massimo, Armiento Giovanna, Caprioli Raffaela, Crovato Cinzia, De Cassan Maurizio, Montereali Maria Rita, Nardi Elisa, Parrella Luisa, Proposito Marco, Schirone Antonio, Spaziani Fabio, and Zourarah Bendahhou
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Date PublishedJan-05-2022
KeywordsAnthropic influence, Cadmium, Chemical, chemistry, Coastal lagoons, Coastal zones, Ecological risk assessment, Environmental monitoring, Environmental risks, Geochemistry, Geochronological dating, geochronology, Geologic Sediments, Heavy, heavy metal, Heavy metals, Heavy metals content, Industrial emissions, Khnifiss lagoon, Lagoon sediments, Lakes, Machinery, Metals, Morocco, Multivariant analysis, National parks, Parks, Potential ecological risk, procedures, Recreational, recreational park, Risk assessment, sediment, Sediments, water pollutant, Water Pollutants

Coastal lagoons are important but sensitive environments, being transitional zones between land and sea. The Khnifiss lagoon is the most important desert wetland in Morocco, but little data have been produced concerning heavy metal geochemistry and enrichments in the sediments. Therefore, 26 surface sediments (15 intertidal and 11 subtidal) and 2 sediment cores were collected in 2016 and analyzed for a selection of heavy metals. The data were processed to assess the degree of contamination and the corresponding potential ecological risk, using several accumulation/enrichment indices, and the singular and multi-metal risk indices. Mean concentrations in the bottom layers of the two cores, dating from a pre-industrial age according to geochronological analysis, were used as the local geochemical background. The resulting values were on the whole lower than those reported for other areas of the northeastern coast of Morocco. Multivariate statistics were also applied to better understand relationships among variables (metals and other geochemical parameters) and to reveal similarities among sample groups. The results showed that, although the lagoon is not yet affected by significant anthropogenic influences, small enrichments can be recognized, especially for Ni and Cd. The cause may be related to the proximity to the main national highway, the vehicles and machinery used in the saltworks located in the area, and the small harbors used principally for fishing. In addition, industrial emissions from the Atlantic coast of Morocco and adjacent countries can be reasonably attributed as additional contributors to the enrichments. In terms of potential ecological risk, Cd shows the greatest impact compared to the other metals investigated.


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Short TitleEnviron Monit Assess