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Authors: Renzi, M.* 
Romeo, T.* 
Guerranti, C.* 
Perra, G.* 
Italiano, F.* 
Focardi, S. E.* 
Esposito, V.* 
Andaloro, F.* 
Title: Temporal trends and matrix-dependent behaviors of trace elements closed to a geothermal hot-spot source (Aeolian Archipelago, Italy)
Issue Date: 2011
Series/Report no.: /4 (2011)
DOI: 10.1016/j.proeps.2011.11.003
Keywords: trace elements
hydrothermal vents
Subject Classification03. Hydrosphere::03.04. Chemical and biological::03.04.06. Hydrothermal systems 
Abstract: Degassing activity from marine shallow-water hydrothermal vents represents a natural important source of trace elements of particular ecotoxicological concern, such as Hg, Cd, Pb, and As. In 2002, on November 3rd, a submarine area of the Aeolian Archipelago (Italy) was affected by an exceptional hydrothermal activity, presumably associated to a significant trace element release. This study developed in the highest impacted area, was focused on different environmental matrices (water, sediment, primary producers, and fishes) with the aim to evaluate on a statistical basis temporal dynamics involving trace elements closed to the emission source. Results evidenced that this event produced significant changes in water column, modifying the general assessment of the chemical descriptors selected (Na, K, Mg, Ca, Cl, Br, SO4 2-, HCO3 -). Furthermore, the degassing activity represents a significant input of Hg, Cd, Pb, and As for all of the sampled matrices, being it responsible of the higher levels observed in the study area compared to controls. Concentrations measured in sediments and biota (Cystoseira compressa, Serranus cabrilla) at temporal intervals of ten months distanced, supported the occurrence of different time scale dynamics which are both element and matrix-dependent. In particular, levels of Cd and As measured in liver tissues of S. cabrilla evidenced a significant trend to increase with the time, allowing to exclude a quick recovery of the study area. Measured values in edible fishes tissues are, also, notably higher than risk limits proposed by the 2001/22/CE Directive for human consumption, so, local-based caught have to be accurately regulated to avoid the occurrence of diet over-exposure.
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