Sources and timing of anthropogenic pollution in the Ensenada de San Simón (inner Ría de Vigo), Galicia, NW Spain: an application of mixture-modelling and nonlinear optimization to recent sedimentation

R.J. Howarth, G. Evans, I.W. Croudace, Andrew Cundy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The Ensenada de San Simón is the inner part of the Ría de Vigo, one of the major mesotidal rías of the Galician coast, NW Spain. The geochemistry of its bottom sediments can be accounted for in terms of both natural and anthropogenic sources. Mixture-modelling enables much of the Cr, Ni, V, Cu, Pb and Zn concentrations of the bottom and subaqueous sediments to be explained by sediment input from the river systems and faecal matter from manmade mussel rafts. The compositions and relative contributions of additional, unknown, sources of anomalous heavy-metal concentrations are quantified using constrained nonlinear optimization. The pattern of metal enrichment is attributed to: material carried in solution and suspension in marine water entering the Ensenada from the polluted industrial areas of the adjacent Ría de Vigo; wind-borne urban dusts and/or vehicular emissions from the surrounding network of roads and a motorway road-bridge over the Estrecho de Rande; industrial and agricultural pollution from the R. Redondela; and waste from a former ceramics factory near the mouth of the combined R. Oitabén and R. Verdugo. Using 137Cs dating, it is suggested that heavy metal build-up in the sediments since the late 1970s followed development of inshore fisheries and introduction of the mussel rafts (ca. 1960) and increasing industrialisation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-176
Number of pages28
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume340
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005

Keywords

  • Subaqueous sediments
  • Ensenada de San Simón
  • Ría de Vigo
  • NW Spain
  • Cr
  • Cu
  • Ni
  • Pb
  • V
  • Zn
  • Anthropogenic pollution
  • Mussel rafts
  • Urban dusts
  • Highway dusts
  • Mixture-modelling
  • Nonlinear optimization
  • 137Cs dating

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Sources and timing of anthropogenic pollution in the Ensenada de San Simón (inner Ría de Vigo), Galicia, NW Spain: an application of mixture-modelling and nonlinear optimization to recent sedimentation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this