Baseline assessment of metals and hydrocarbons in the sediments of Lake Mulwala, Australia

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Abstract

An assessment of hydrocarbon and metal/metalloids (arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, selenium, zinc) contamination in sediments from Lake Mulwala, Australia, was undertaken. The objectives of the study were: (i) to determine the extent of contamination in the lake sediments, compared to Australian and international sediment quality guidelines, and (ii) to attempt to identify the contaminant sources to the lake. With the exception of a few samples containing elevated levels of arsenic and/or mercury, the levels of all contaminants in the sediment samples taken from the lake were below the 'lower trigger' of the Australian Sediment Quality Guidelines that would warrant further investigation. High molecular weight hydrocarbons (up to 700 mg kg'1) were found in most sediment samples. Non-metric statistical analysis indicated that the contaminant distribution was different in different parts of the lake, with the lowest concentrations generally found at the influent to the lake. No definitive source(s) of contamination could be identified for either metalloids or hydrocarbons.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-174
Number of pages8
JournalLakes and Reservoirs: Research and Management
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007

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