Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 185, Issue 5, pp 3879–3895 | Cite as

Metal contamination in water, sediment and biota from a semi-enclosed coastal area

  • Walid Aly
  • Ian D. Williams
  • Malcolm D. Hudson


This study identifies and quantifies the spatial variations of metal contamination in water, sediment and biota: the common cockle (Cerastoderma edule) and the Mermaid’s glove sponge (Haliclona oculata), within a heavily anthropogenically impacted semi-enclosed estuarine–coastal area with a low ability to disperse and flush contaminants (Poole Harbour, UK). The results showed that metal contamination was detected in all environmental compartments. Water was polluted with As, and Hg sediment metals were mostly within “the possible effect range” in which adverse effects occasionally occurs. Cockles had considerable concentrations of Ni, Ag and Hg in areas close to pollution sources, and sponges accumulate Cu and Zn with very high magnitude. A systematic monitoring approach that includes biological monitoring techniques, which covers all embayments, is needed, and an integrated management of the semi-enclosed coastal zones should be based on the overall hydrological characteristics of these sensitive areas and their ability to self‐restore which is different than open coastal zones.


Semi-enclosed coastal zone Metal contamination Poole Harbour Metal accumulation Pollution 



This work was funded by the Ministry of Higher Education of Egypt (National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries) in the framework of overseas PhD missions. We are indebted to Professor John Humphreys and Mr. Matthew Harris (Institute of Marine Sciences, University of Portsmouth) for their help in field work. Thanks are due to Dr. Antony Jensen (National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton) for his support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walid Aly
    • 1
  • Ian D. Williams
    • 1
  • Malcolm D. Hudson
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering and the EnvironmentUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  2. 2.Centre for Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Engineering and the EnvironmentUniversity of SouthamptonHampshireUK

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