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 JEP  Vol.7 No.11 , October 2016
Assessment of the Hydrochemical Characteristics of the Suez Gulf Coastal Waters during 2011-2013
Abstract:

The coastal region of the Suez Gulf, is one of the most densely industrialized zones in Egypt. In order to assess the quality of Suez Gulf coastal waters for the sustainable use and development, and consequently for the national income, 12 field campaigns were carried out in 3 years (2011-2013). The results of beach litter cleared out that the shoreline of the Suez Gulf, especially Ras Gharib area was subjected to many factors which undoubtedly affected the rate of man-made litter accumulation. The most abundant visible items were general litter as they represented 30.64% of the total items encountered. Oil, seaweeds as well as old and new tar constituted 15.41%, 14.85% and 11.84%, respectively. The increase on the levels of water temperature, Chl-a, TSM, DO, BOD, DOM, COD, ammonium ion, nitrite, nitrate, total phosphorus, silicate and total nitrogen developed a eutrophic region. In general, dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) species were almost 9 times higher in the northern parts compared to the south-ern ones revealing that the northern parts of the Gulf were more affected by human impacts compared to the southern area. Moreover, concentrations of most studied metals such as Zn, Mn, Ni, Cu, Cr, Cd, Pb, and Hg were higher in Northern parts com-pared to southern parts of the Gulf. The concentrations of dissolved metals in the northern and southern Suez Gulf followed the following order: Fe ≥ Zn ≥ Cu > Pb > Mn > Ni > Cr > Cd ≥ Hg. Except for Hg, concentrations of metals were in the accepta-ble ranges recommended internationally. Hg concentrations especially in the northern Suez Gulf were slightly higher than the permissible levels. As the northern parts of the Gulf were more suffered from oil pollution, total petroleum hydrocarbons revealed higher concentrations in the northern parts compared to the southern parts of the Gulf. Seasonal variations, on the other hand, indicated higher levels of DO, BOD, DOM and COD, chloropyll-a, TSM, ammonia, nitrate, total nitrogen in winter compared to their corresponding values in summer. In general, the majority of TN and TP in winter were in the form of organic-N (87.2%) and organic P (94.1%). These percentages were 77.8% and 37.3%, respectively in summer. The surface coastal water of the Suez Gulf was principally, P-limited for phytoplankton growth in different investigated regions. Furthermore, the DIN/DIP ratio was higher (94.2:1) in winter season compared to summer season (6.3:1). Concentrations of Fe, Zn, Cd, and Hg in winter exhibited sig-nificantly higher values compared to their corresponding values in summer. On con-trast, Mn, Ni, Cu, Cr, and Pb exhibited significantly higher values in summer compared to their corresponding values in winter. Furthermore, concentrations of petroleum hy-drocarbons were significantly higher in winter than in summer which is mainly at-tributed to the increase in the rate of evaporation for petroleum hydrocarbons in summer due to the increase in water temperature and water salinity. In general, the maximum concentration was much lower than the harmful concentrations reported for seawater. A stepwise multiple linear regression, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and principle component analysis (PCA) were applied.

Cite this paper: Abo-El-Khair, E. , Fattah, L. , Abdel-Halim, A. , Abd-Elnaby, M. , Fahmy, M. , Ahdy, H. , Hemeilly, A. , El-Soud, A. and Shreadah, M. (2016) Assessment of the Hydrochemical Characteristics of the Suez Gulf Coastal Waters during 2011-2013. Journal of Environmental Protection, 7, 1497-1521. doi: 10.4236/jep.2016.711126.
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