Assessment of Mineralogical Composition and Heavy Metal Pollution in the Surface Sediment of North West Persian Gulf

Document Type: Original Research Paper

Authors

1 Graduate Faculty of Environment, University of Tehran, P. O. Box 14155-6135, Tehran, Iran

2 Environmental Research Laboratory, Department of Water and Environmental Engineering, School of Civil Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 16765-163, Narmak, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

In this study, the mineralogical composition and concentration of heavy metals in surface
sediment of North West Persian Gulf (Musa estuary and Hendijan coastline) were investigated. Fifteen
sampling sites were selected and the sediment samples were collected using Peterson grab sampler in August
2013. XRD analyses demonstrated that the sediments of study area are principally composed of calcite,
quartz and dolomite. The high concentration of calcium carbonate can be derived from limestone and frequency
remains of benthic organisms. The metal concentrations compared with values of these metals in the average
shale, indicated that all the sampling sites are contaminated with Pb and Ni. The results of enrichment factor
and geoaccumulation index demonstrated that at sites 3, 4, 5, 6 (near Emam port and petrochemical plant site),
14 and 15 (adjacent Bahregan port) have high metal concentrations due to anthropogenic activities such as
discharge of industrial, agricultural and residential wastewaters and shipping. Based on the average shale
contents, the result of EF are more reliable than the Igeo index.

Keywords