Stable isotopes and geochemical indicators in marine sediments as proxies for anthropogenic impact: A baseline for coastal environments of central Chile (33°S)

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Abstract

Stable isotopes and geochemical proxies (TOC/TN and Chla/TOC) in sediments can be used to distinguish organic matter sources (anthropogenic, terrestrial, or marine). This study aims to characterize organic matter (OM) in superficial sediments from three sectors of central Chile (33°S) that are highly influenced by urban and industrial development. Our results show that a substantial fraction of these OM in Quintero Bay is anthropogenic, from industrial and domestic wastewater sources. In contrast, a mixture of terrestrial and anthropogenic OM dominates the isotopic signal of surface sediments from Concón, derived from non-point industrial and agriculture sources associated with the Aconcagua River basin, while Ritoque exhibited a mixture of different OM sources. However, deposition of allochthonous OM in our study area depends on coastal topography, which influences the local currents and well-ventilated waters, promoting the dispersion and assimilation of OM and thus providing an environment with a high capacity for natural remediation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-84
Number of pages9
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume142
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Coastal environments
  • Organic matter pollution
  • Quintero Bay

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