Geochemical and environmental studies of recent marine sediments and some hard corals of Wadi El-Gemal area of the Red Sea, Egypt
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The distribution of (Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Pb, Ni, Co and Cd) concentrations were determined in surface marine sediments and coral reefs at Wadi El-Gemal in the Red Sea area. There were significant differences in concentrations of heavy metals in the marine sediments relative to the coral reefs. Some heavy metal concentrations in sediments and coral reefs in the study area are high compared to that in the impact areas of the Egyptian Red Sea coast. The results indicate that the high concentrations of heavy metals in marine sediments and coral reefs are particularly affected by the high contribution of terrigenous materials through the stream of Wadi El-Gemal. Generally, heavy metals concentration in the sediments decreased with increasing distance from the shoreline with the exception of Pb, which increased with increasing distance from the shoreline. On the other hand, Pb concentration in coral reefs is high compared to that in some sediment samples at Wadi El- Gemal area. The grain size, carbonate, organic matter, phosphorus and heavy metals distribution reflect marked changes in lithology, biological activities in the sea and land geology of the study area. Carbonate content mainly of biogenic origin varies from 5.7 –69.5% of the sediments. Organic matter contents of the sediments (1.7 to 6.5%) and phosphorus content (110 to 5097ppm) usually reflect significant terrigenous influences. On the other hand, heavy metals show an increasing tendency in the mud fraction of Wadi El-Gemal area. The present work reflects how much the marine sediments and coral reefs are influenced by natural impacts from this wadi. The collected data will be useful in management and suitable development of the area, beside being helpful as database in the future.