Heavy Metal Distribution in Opportunistic Beach Nourishment: A Case Study in Greece

Spyros Foteinis, Nikolaos Kallithrakas-Kontos, Costas E. Synolakis

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16 Citations (Scopus)


The existence and distribution of persistent pollutants, such as heavy metals, in coastal sediment used for opportunistic beach
nourishment, is a problem that has not received much attention. Here, we assessed the coastal sediments in one restoration project
for the occurrence and distribution of heavy metals, by utilizing an Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence (EDXRF) system. Heavy
metal point sources included (i) the effluents of small industries (tanneries), (ii) wastewater treatment plant effluents, and (iii) paint
and oil scraps from substandard ship maintenance activities that take place on ports breakwaters. A few neighboring beaches were
found to have similar heavy metal concentrations, with mean values of Cu, Zn, and Pb ranging from 80 to 130, 15 to 25, and
25 to 40 mg/kg, respectively. Existing legislation regarding dredging activities in Greece appears insufficient for sustainable and
environmentally friendly nourishment. We conclude that before opportunistic beach restoration projects materialize with material
borrowed from ports and harbors the quality of the dredged material needs to be assessed
Original languageEnglish
Article number472149
JournalScientific World Journal
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2013


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