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International Journal of Environment Science and Technology
Center for Environment and Energy Research and Studies (CEERS)
ISSN: 1735-1472
EISSN: 1735-2630
Vol. 11, No. 5, 2014, pp. 1421-1432
Bioline Code: st14138
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

International Journal of Environment Science and Technology, Vol. 11, No. 5, 2014, pp. 1421-1432

 en The ‘Sea Diamond’ shipwreck: environmental impact assessment in the water column and sediments of the wreck area
Dimitrakakis, E.; Hahladakis, J. & Gidarakos, E.

Abstract

In the ‘Sea Diamond’ shipwreck, it is estimated that almost 1.7 tons of batteries/accumulators and approximately 150 cathode ray tube technology televisions have gone to the bottom of the sea. Under these circumstances, all the aforementioned materials will eventually undergo severe accelerated corrosion. Consequently, a variety of heavy metals will either be released in seawater or precipitate in the form of salts resulting in contamination of the sea sediments. According to the ship data, and the aforementioned quantities of batteries and televisions, it is estimated that approximately 75–80 g of mercury, 630–1,050 g of cadmium and 1.14–1.26 tons of lead exist in the wreck only due to the electrical and electronic equipment present in the ship, not to mention the significant amount of heavy metals such as copper, nickel, ferrous and chromium that exist in the hulk. Four series of seawater sampling (n = 85) were conducted in different stations surrounding the wreck area in order to assess the overall impact from the release of heavy metals in the surrounding aquatic environment. The analysis indicated that there were stations where lead, zinc and cadmium were present in concentrations higher than the permissible limits set by the Unites States Environmental Protection Agency for seawater. Furthermore, the analysis of three series of sediment sampling (n = 31) from the wreck area showed elevated but expected concentration values for ferrous and manganese, considering the geological background of the area and contamination with lead, copper and cadmium.

Keywords
Heavy metals; Seawater contamination; Sediment contamination; Shipwreck

 
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