Accumulation of total trace metals due to rapid urbanization in microtidal zone of Pallikaranai marsh, South of Chennai, India

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The article presents the results for enrichment of total trace metals (TTMs) from Pallikaranai salt marsh in South Chennai, a metropolis on the southeast coast of India. TTMs Fe, Mn, Cr, Cu, Ni, Co, Pb, Zn, Cd, Sr, V, and Hg along with sediment texture, OC, and CaCO3 were analyzed in 36 surface sediments collected during August 2008 to recognize and observe the input of TTMs in the marsh from various sources in the city limits. In view of the rapid urbanization and industrialization in Chennai City, especially on the southern side, uncontrolled input of sewage, garbage, and industrial effluents into the Pallikaranai marsh land, the elevated concentrations are not surprising. The level of enrichment of TTMs has also increased by 20% to 60% for most of the elements when compared with all other ecosystems in the world as well as the nearby area. The results also indicate that the marshy region is more heavily contaminated with Cd, Hg, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn than other regions on the southeast coast of India. The Enrichment Factor, Contamination Factor, and I (geo) indexes are calculated, and these values are useful to assess the degree of pollution in sediments. The spatial distributions of TTMs are also controlled by other factors like geochemical, precipitation, and flocculation of particulate substances in the marsh. The results of the present study suggest the need for a regular monitoring and management program which will help to improve the quality of Pallikaranai pristine marsh land.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number1-4
Pages (from-to)609-629
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 01.11.2010