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Baseline assessment of heavy metal concentrations in surficial sediment from Kachemak Bay, Alaska
  • Published Date:
  • Source:
    Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 187(1), 4106.
Filetype[PDF-1.32 MB]

  • Description:
    Heavy metal inputs to coastal Alaska ecosystems are driven by sediment loads from glacial meltwater and river outflows. This study characterized the spatial distribution of 16 major and trace metals in five strata in Kachemak Bay, as well as sediment total organic carbon content and grain size. Homer Harbor, a shallow harbor within the study area, contained elevated metal concentrations compared to the other strata. Outside the harbor, several metals, including Cr, Ni, Pb, and Zn, were significantly higher in the eastern strata than in the western portions of the bay. The opposite was true for a few other metals, such as Hg. However, most metal concentrations were below the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's sediment quality guidelines for sediment toxicity to benthic communities.
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