Total Mercury Distribution In Surface Sediments From The Arabian Gulf
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Surface sediment samples collected during the first leg of Mt. Mitchell cruise and covering the entire Gulf, were analysed for their total Hg content. The total Hg concentrations ranged from 0.032 to 0.27 ug/g dry wt. The values obtained were compared to ROPME data generated earlier. Though differences in areas of sampling and methodologies exist, the values obtained in the present study are lower than ROPME values, contrary to expectations. This may be due to the fact that the samples were collected primarily from open sea areas rather than coastal areas, therefore, measurements of Hg made close to shore may reveal higher levels. Although no definite trend is observed in the spatial distribution of Hg, an effort was made to correlate the concentrations of Hg and mean grain size (Mz) of the sediments. Possible explanations for observed distribution are discussed. It is concluded that there is no apparent Hg contamination observed in the surface sediments of the Arabian Gulf, either from local industrial sources or as a direct result of the extensive Gulf war oil spill.