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In-situ trace metal (Cd, Pb, Cu) speciation along the Po River plume (Northern Adriatic Sea) using submersible systems

Journal article
Authors S. Illuminati
A. Annibaldi
C. Truzzi
M. L. Tercier-Waeber
S. Noel
C. B. Braungardt
E. P. Achterberg
K. A. Howell
David R. Turner
M. Marini
T. Romagnoli
C. Totti
F. Confalonieri
F. Graziottin
J. Buffle
G. Scarponi
International Journal Of Environmental Analytical Chemistry V. P. Podaglio G
Published in Marine Chemistry
Volume 212
Pages 47-63
ISSN 0304-4203
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of marine sciences
Pages 47-63
Language en
Keywords Metals, Speciation, Adriatic Sea, Voltainmetry, anodic-stripping voltammetry, chemical speciation, coastal waters, organic-carbon, copper complexation, dissolved cadmium, continental-shelf, antarctic aerosol, liquid-membrane, benthic fluxes, Chemistry, Oceanography, ARPONI G, 1995, MICROCHEMICAL JOURNAL6th Hungaro/Italian Symposium on Spectrochemistry: Advances in Environmental Sciences, AUG 23-27, 1993, LILLAFURED, HUNGARY, V51, P214
Subject categories Marine ecology


Information on the distribution and speciation of trace metals is of critical importance for our ability to interpret the links between the bioavailability and uptake of an element, and its biogeochemical cycle in coastal environments. Within the framework of the European Project "In-situ automated Monitoring of Trace metal speciation in Estuaries and Coastal zones in relation with the biogeochemical processes (IMTEC)", the chemical speciation of Cd, Pb and Cu was carried out along the Po River plume in the period 27 October - 2 November 2002. During the cruise, five Voltammetric In-situ Profiling systems and one Multi Physical Chemical Profiler, as well as conventional voltammetric instruments, were successfully applied in order to evaluate the distribution of Cd, Pb and Cu between different fractions (free ion, dynamic, colloidal, dissolved and particulate fractions) and to assess the evolution of these fractions during estuarine mixing and in the water column. Dynamic concentrations were 0.05-0.2 nmol L-1 Cd, 0.02-0.2 nmol L-1 Pb, and 0.15-4.0 nmol L-1 Cu. Cd was mainly present as dynamic fraction (40-100% of the dissolved Cd). High proportions of Pb (similar to 70%) and Cu (similar to 80%) were present as colloids probably of biogenic origin. Principal components analysis reveals a strong influence of the Po River discharge on the spatial and vertical distributions of metal species. Almost all the metal fractions globally decreased following the salinity gradient. Metal concentrations are far below (at least one order of magnitude lower) the Environmental Quality Standard established by the Italian law. However, the Cu dynamic fraction showed concentrations likely to be toxic to sensitive phytoplankton community and to have negative effects on larva development of coastal macroinvertebrate species (toxicity data extracted from literature).

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