Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Heavy metal contamination and provenance of sediments recovered at the Grijalva River delta, southern Gulf of Mexico


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      This study examines textural characteristics, carbonate, organic carbon and chemical composition of sediment samples recovered in the nearshore region (${\sim}$ 3–19 m water depth) at the Grijalva River mouth, southern Gulf of Mexico. The aim of this study is to assess the heavy metal contamination and provenance variations in sediments between the dry and northers (rainy) seasons. The proportion of sand, carbonate, and organic carbon contents were abundant at sites located near to the Grijalva River mouth, principally in northers season. Silt content is dominant in the dry season, especially in the sites located away from the Grijalva River mouth. The Chemical Index (CIX) values obtained for the dry (${\sim}$ 76–84) and northers (${\sim}$ 75–87) seasons indicated a moderate to high intensity of weathering and a humid climate in the source area. The low K$_{2}$O/Al$_{2}$O$_{3}$ ratio values (<0.5) in the dry and northers seasons indicated a higher proportion of aluminosilicates than detrital minerals, due to moderate-to-high intensity of weathering. The correlation among elemental concentrations revealed the association of Cr, Nb, Zr, Hf, Y, and rare earth elements (REE) with detrital minerals rather than aluminosilicates. The major element concentrations, Th/Sc, La/Sc, Co/Th, and Cr/Ni elemental ratios indicated the derivation of sediments from intermediate and mafic igneous rocks. A similarity in the North American Shale Composite (NASC) normalized rare earth element (REE) patterns and Eu anomaly between the dry and northers seasons suggested that the variations in sediment input played a less significant role and the provenance of sediments remained constant. The enrichment factor (EF) showed moderate to severe enrichment for Cr, Ni, and Sb (EF = ${\sim}$ 2.63–7.57), highest in the northers season, especially at the Grijalva River mouth, although the index of geo-accumulation (I$_{geo}$) for these elements suggested as moderately polluted (I$_{geo}$ = 0.34–2.0). The slightly elevated EF values for Cr, Ni, and Sb during northers season were probably due to an increase in sediment discharge into the sea during the northers season. We inferred that the enrichment of Cr, Ni, and Sb in sediments was due to both lithogenic and anthropogenic origins. The sediments were influenced by the intermediate and basic igneous rocks of the Chiapas Massif Complex, and the waste generated by the urban areas located within the Grijalva River drainage basin.

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