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Title: Mercury pollution in Ria de Aveiro (Portugal): a review of the system assessment
Author: Pereira, M. E.
Lillebo, A. I.
Pato, P.
Valega, M.
Coelho, J. P.
Lopes, C. B.
Rodrigues, S.
Cachada, A.
Otero, M.
Pardal, M. A.
Duarte, A. C.
Keywords: Anthropogenic mercury contamination
Coastal management
Environmental assessment
Key environmental processes
Issue Date: Aug-2009
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Abstract: The Ria de Aveiro (Portugal) is a coast al lagoon adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean and it has an inner bay (Laranjo bay) that received a highly contaminated effluent discharged by a mercury cell chlor-alkali plant from the 1950s until 1994. The aim of this study is to review in a holistic way several research studies that have been carried out in the Ria de Aveiro, in order to evaluate the remobilization of the mercury accumulated within the system and the recovery of the lagoon. The spatial distribution of the total mercury in the surrounding terrestrial environment has also been considered. Results indicate that the main mercury contamination problems in the Ria de Aveiro are confined to the Laranjo bay. Mercury export to the coastal waters and its impact on the nearshore compartments (water column, sediment and biota) are low. No direct effects of the mercury from nearby industrial activities were detected in Aveiro’s urban soils, although historical mercury contamination is still affecting soil quality in the immediate vicinity of the chlor-alkali plant, located in Estarreja. Moreover, macrophyte harvesting for human direct or indirect use and the consumption of mussels, crabs and the sea bass from the Laranjo bay may constitute a health risk. Further studies focusing on developing skills for the restoration of the ecosystem are presently underway.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.1007/s10661-008-0416-1
ISSN: 0167-6369
Appears in Collections:DBio - Artigos
PT Mar - Artigos
Ria de Aveiro - Artigos

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