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Latin american journal of aquatic research

On-line version ISSN 0718-560X

Abstract

CASTRO, Gabriel  and  VALDES, Jorge. Heavy metals concentration (Cu, Ni, Zn, Cd, Pb), in biota and sediments of an artificial beach, in San Jorge bay 23°S, northern Chile. Lat. Am. J. Aquat. Res. [online]. 2012, vol.40, n.2, pp. 267-281. ISSN 0718-560X.

It was evaluated the heavy metal content (Cu, Ni, Zn, Cd, Pb) in biota and sediment of an artificial beach (Paraíso) and a natural beach (El Lenguado), both located in San Jorge bay, northern Chile. The results were used to compare both systems, the degree of fulfillment of national and international environmental regulations, and the effect of the construction of the artificial beach on the level of metal contamination historically existing in that area. Equidistant stations were located at each beach in which the organisms were extracted, that ranged from the intertidal to the subtidal. Sediment samples were taken at each beach and slopes were determined with the Emery method. The granulometric analysis evidenced the predominance of medium sand in El Lenguado beach, and medium and fine sand in Paraíso beach. The organic matter content was greater in El Lenguado. In Paraíso beach were determined 5 phylum/superclass, grouped in 19 taxa, while in El Lenguado were found 4 phylum/superclass grouped in cc taxa. The metal content in sediments and in the majority of organisms shows higher values in Paraíso beach. This results along with the Chilean and American quality norms suggest an evident deterioration of the environmental quality of Paraíso beach, which is demonstrated by an increase in the concentrations of these metals from its construction, which exceed the established limits by both norms.

Keywords : heavy metals; artificial beach; quality norms; environmental quality; sediments; biota; Chile.

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