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An overview of the Gulf of Batabanó (Cuba): Environmental features as revealed by surface sediment characterisation

TitoloAn overview of the Gulf of Batabanó (Cuba): Environmental features as revealed by surface sediment characterisation
Tipo di pubblicazioneArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Anno di Pubblicazione2011
AutoriAlonso-Hernandez, C.M., Conte Fabio, Misic C., Barsanti Mattia, Gómez-Batista M., Diaz-Asencio M., Covazzi-Harriague A., and Pannacciulli Federica
RivistaContinental Shelf Research
Parole chiaveAtlantic Ocean, bathymetry, Caribbean Sea, coastal zone, concentration (composition), Cuba, food web, granulometry, Gulf of Batabano, heavy metal, homogeneity, literature review, lobster, mineralogy, Nitrogen, Organic carbon, pristine environment, radionuclide, sediment chemistry, sediment core, sediment pollution, surficial sediment

The main environmental features of the Gulf of Batabanó, Cuba, Caribbean, were investigated through the analyses of surface sediments collected at 23 sites. In order to highlight the potential threats affecting the sedimentary compartment of this area, samples were analysed for: granulometry, mineralogy, heavy metals concentration (As, Cd, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, Zn), organic carbon, total nitrogen and radionuclides. Findings were compared with published data and "grey" literature. Results showed: granulometric homogeneity and a widespread carbonatic condition all over the gulf, probably due to stable bathymetry and lack of terrigenous input (except for the La Coloma basin); a rather pristine environment for what concerns heavy metals pollution, except for La Coloma where a large arsenic input was recorded; very low levels of natural and artificial radioactivity; a relevant quantity of sedimentary organic matter, providing biota with useful substrate for feeding and enhancing the food-web development while indirectly supplying lobster fisheries. Combined data highlighted the impact of the Dique Sur in reducing terrigenous input in the coastal area. Future studies should focus on dating of sediment cores for identifying and quantifying the changes acting in the gulf and on investigating the origins of the large arsenic input to La Coloma. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


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Citation KeyAlonso-Hernández2011749