Keywords: metals, suspended particulate matter, Gulf of Mexico, spatial variability, trace elements, aluminium, iron, calcium, marine environment, water pollution, seawater, costal waters, river discharge
Spatial variability of particle-associated trace elements in the Panuco River discharge area, Gulf of Mexico
Suspended particulate matter (SPM) was collected in February (stormy season) and in September (rainy season) from surface and bottom waters at 29 sampling points in the coastal area adjacent to where Panuco River discharges into the Gulf of Mexico. The overall average of SPM concentration was 1.89 mg/l with higher concentrations being found in February. There were high correlations of aluminium with SPM concentration, iron and calcium, suggesting an association with clays from a terrigenous source; however, an analyses of the correlation between SPM concentration and the metals studied for each sampling period varied implies differences in the type of SPM concentration, in February the main component are terrigenous clays, in September the strong correlation between SPM concentration and Ca and the lack of correlation between Al and Ca hints to the presence of SPM concentration of biogenous source.