Major controls of some metals distribution in sediments off the Nile Delta, Egypt
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The sediment samples that are collected during R/V CHAIN 1975 cruise to the southeastern Mediterranean have been used to determine the major controls of metals’distribution. The sediment samples were analysed mineralogically, chemically and texturally. The parameters measured included carbonate minerals, total carbonate, organic carbon, iron, manganese, copper, zinc, chromium, lead, nickel, cobalt, vanadium, calcium, magnesium, strontium, sand, silt and clay. The statistical analysis of data showed that four major factors control the distribution of metals in sediments of the Nile cone; These are: Factor 1 terrigenous mud-calcareous sand; Factor 2 Aragonite mud-terrigenous sand; Factor 3 Algal sand; and Factor 4 Aragonite. The percentages of terrigenous sand, mud and calcareous components of the Nile cone sediments greatly affect the elements spatial distribution. In addition to that, minor controls such as precipitation and coprecipitation may affect the elemental distribution. The distributions of iron, manganese, copper, zinc, chromium, lead, nickel, cobalt, and vanadium are associated mainly with the terrigenous mud fraction of the sediment whereas, calcium and strontium are mainly related to calcareous sands. Iron, copper, cobalt, lead and vanadium are partially related to montmorillonite. Lead is associated with acid feldspars and chromium is mainly controlled by terrigenous sand. The distribution of calcium and strontium is controlled by the coarsecalcareous fraction of sediments. Magnesium and manganese are associate with algal sand. The aragonite and calcite minerals are forming the majority of carbonate mud, which controls partially the distribution of calcium, strontium, lead and copper.