While numerous quality guidelines unquestionably drive the management of harbour sediments, port managers increasingly require easy-to-use tools supporting them in assessing the sediment quality. In this work, a new hazard index, named cumulative Normalized and Weighted Average Concentration (c-NWAC), is proposed, considering the concentrations of main hazardous, toxic and bio-accumulative sediment contaminants. This index is an upgraded version of the previously introduced NWAC index, which considered only the metal concentrations. The c-NWAC values range from 0 to 10 scores, and their visualization on a colour base code map leads to an easy identification of hotspots. The applicability of the new index was verified using a dataset derived from the analyses of 42 samples collected at different depths of the seabed of the Port of Bari (Italy). The concentrations of 58 parameters were considered, namely 11 metals and metalloids, 17 congeners of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 16 congeners of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), further 11 organic micropollutants, total organic carbon (TOC) and nutrients (Ntot, Ptot). For the study area, the obtained c-NWAC values resulted well correlated to the corresponding values of the commonly used mean Effects Range Median quotient (mERMq), and similar hazard categories were developed for the new index, even if the latter do not necessarily explain the real sediment toxicity, because they were derived from a different sediment dataset and different test species. Moreover, the hazard predictive ability of the new index was verified (with satisfactory results) by testing the considered samples by eco-toxicological assays, using three different biological species, and comparing the obtained results to the corresponding hazard categories developed for c-NWAC.
|Titolo:||Identification of hot spots within harbour sediments through a new cumulative hazard index. Case study: port of Bari - Italy|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/j.ecolind.2015.07.024|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|