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Heavy Metal Contamination
Along the Coast of North-East

ALDERTON, SIMON,MARK (2012) Heavy Metal Contamination
Along the Coast of North-East
Masters thesis, Durham University.

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The last century has seen the north east coast of England heavily aected by anthropogenic activities, none more notable than the coal mining industry, and the millions of tonnes of colliery waste estimated to have been dumped every year. Since the decline of the industry and subsequent remedial work carried out by the Turning the Tide Partnership, investigation of the coastline has been minimal. The purpose of this investigation is to consider the industrial forcing of the natural ecosystem which exists along the north east coast of England, and analyse the impacts of remediation in accelerating the recovery of the area from a state of economic exploitation, to natural habitat and environmental resource.
Giusti et al. (1999) conducted a study which collected heavy metal data from the shell and tissue material of Mytilus edulis (the blue mussel) at five coastal locations
along the north east of England, during the early stages of remediation (December 1997). A second study (Giusti, 2001) monitored the heavy metal contamination of Fucus vesiculosus (bladderwrack) along the coast during the same period.
This investigation has provided comparative heavy metal data to these baselines, allowing assessments of the level of recovery to be made, while highlighting current areas of concern and the implications of post-remediation activity. The concentrations of Fe, Mn, Zn, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni and Cd were determined in both the soft tissue and shell material of the blue mussel and common limpet (Patella vulgata) at several sites between Whitburn and the Tees estuary. Bladderwrack is included as a sensitive short term indicator of water based heavy metal contamination.
Although the investigation finds that the long term metal contamination of the coastline has decreased, a change in the spatial pattern of pollution is observed, manifested by an increase in metal concentrations at the Tees estuary site of Bran Sands. The mobilisation and transport of offshore sediment is discussed as a possible causal factor. High levels of iron and manganese are recorded in all three indicators, suggesting an aqueous source. These high values include a 9-fold increase in iron contamination of bladderwrack (to ∼9,000 mg kg-1), and a 12-fold increase of
manganese in bladderwrack at Roker estuary (to ∼1,600 mg kg-1). Subsequently, tentative links are drawn to the pumping of treated minewater into the sea at Horden
and Dawdon.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Science
Keywords:Durham, Heritage, Coast, Heavy, Metal, Pollution, Mytilus, edulis, Patella, vulgata, Fucus, vesiculosus, Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn, Ni, Pb, Cd, Cr, Contamination, Remediation, Regeneration
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Geography, Department of
Thesis Date:2012
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:04 Dec 2012 15:21

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