History of trace metal pollution in sabine-neches estuary, beaumont, Texas. Academic Article uri icon


  • Sabine-Neches Estuary, near Beaumont, TX, receives wastewater effluents from over 160 industrial and municipal treatment plants. The concentrations of trace metals (Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn), Al, Fe, Mn, and organic carbon were determined in four dated sediment cores. A reliable geochronology and reconstruction of the history of trace metal inputs of these sediments was possible because the 239'240Pu profiles closely trace the bomb fallout history into the environment. Down-core variations of aluminumnormalized enrichment factors for these metals demonstrate that the sediments of this estuary have remained relatively pristine with respect to trace metal contamination since 1860. While the concentrations of Pb and Zn at various depths in the sediment column are slightly enriched, Co, Cr, Cu, and Ni are depleted. The sedimentary and biogenic particles that are presently being deposited are also depleted in trace metals. Lack of strong enrichment for trace metals like Cu can be attributed to the short residence time of water, low salinity conditions, and possibly strong complexation of these metals with organic matter. 1995, American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • Environ Sci Technol

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Ravichandran, M., Baskaran, M., Santschi, P. H., & Bianchi, T. S.

citation count

  • 126

complete list of authors

  • Ravichandran, M||Baskaran, M||Santschi, PH||Bianchi, TS

publication date

  • June 1995