Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.01.016
Title (Primary) Sediment pollution in the Elbe estuary and its potential toxicity at different trophic levels
Author Wetzel, M.A.; Wahrendorf, D.-S.; von der Ohe, P.C.
Source Titel Science of the Total Environment
Year 2013
Department WANA
Volume 449
Page From 199
Page To 207
Language englisch
Keywords Toxic Units; Water Framework Directive; Sediment pollution; Macrofauna; Fish; Algae
UFZ wide themes RU3;
Abstract Sediment contamination is one of the most pressing environmental problems in estuaries of industrialized countries and is of special interest to water managers involved in waterway maintenance dredging. In the present study, eight heavy metals (As, Pb, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Hg, and Zn) and 41 organic compounds (pentachlorbenzol (PeCB), hexachlorbenzol (HCB), 7 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), the hexachlorocyclohexanes α-HCH, β-HCH, γ-HCH, 6 dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane isomers, organochlorine styrene (OCS), octachloronaphthalene (OCN), 15 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and 6 organotin (OT) compounds) were analyzed in surface sediments at 36 sites in the Elbe estuary in 2006. Correlation analysis showed a general decrease in sediment contaminant concentrations from the stations near the port of Hamburg towards the open sea. This decrease was significant (Spearman's rank correlation, p < 0.05) with most pollutants. In addition, cluster analysis identified five groups of sites with different sediment contaminant patterns within the Elbe estuary. Worst case toxic risks stemming from sediment-bound organic pollutants were predicted using the Toxic Unit approach, based on estimated pore-water concentrations under equilibrium conditions and acute LC50 values for three standard test organisms of the trophic levels of fish, invertebrates, and algae. The estimated sediment toxicity was significantly higher in the inner part (river-km 630 to 660) compared with the estuarine mouth. Moreover, potential toxicity of organic pollutants estimated for invertebrates and for fish exceeded acute-based effect thresholds at 30 and 24 stations, respectively. Chronic effects for invertebrates are expected at all sites investigated. We conclude that sediment pollution and related potential toxicity in the Elbe estuary may have more influence on the benthos fauna than expected to date.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Wetzel, M.A., Wahrendorf, D.-S., von der Ohe, P.C. (2013):
Sediment pollution in the Elbe estuary and its potential toxicity at different trophic levels
Sci. Total Environ. 449 , 199 - 207 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.01.016