Stefano Covelli, Andrea Emili, Alessandro Acquavita, Enrico Dinelli, Neža Koron, Jadran Faganeli


Previous research on mercury (Hg) showed strong contamination of the Piallassa Baiona (P.B.) lagoon, near Ravenna. The lagoon received between 100 and 200 tons of Hg generated by an acetaldehyde factory in 1957-1977. In this study, the Hg cycling at the sediment-water interface in the P.B. lagoon was investigated by means of an in situ benthic chamber. The 8-h integrated flux of the methylated form was extremely low and estimated to be only 7% of the result obtained for a summer experiment performed in a similar Hg-contaminated environment (Grado lagoon). Conversely, the in situ flux of Hg accounted for a comparable amount to that observed in the Grado lagoon, although Hg contents in its sediments are almost 50% lower than in P.B. lagoon. Hg mobilization and sequestration in the system, limiting its bioavailability despite the high contents of metal buried in the bottom sediments, seem related to extremely anoxic conditions.


mercury; contamination; sediment; benthic fluxes; biogeochemical cycling

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.2281-4485/3789


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