Herein, we aim to provide a baseline assessment of the pollution status of the water column in coastal areas of Saudi Arabia (Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba), using trace metals (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn), total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), in seawater samples obtained from 71 sampling stations in June-July 2021. Concerning trace metals, the maximum concentrations for Co, Cu and Ni were detected in Al-Shuqaiq, whereas the highest Pb and Zn concentrations were found in the Jeddah lagoon waters. Elevated concentrations of TPHs and the highest sum of PAHs were recorded in surface waters of Al Lith, Jeddah lagoon and Jeddah Mena. Overall, the concentrations of all trace metals, TPHs and individual PAHs for which environmental standards have been stipulated for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia fall well below the threshold values.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-09-01
Acknowledgements: The financial support for the scientific cruise was provided by the National Center for Environmental Compliance (NCEC) and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), in the frame of the project for the Marine and Coastal Protection Assessment Study for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We would like to thank the NCEC scientists who participated in the cruise for their support and help with sampling and chemical analysis. We thank, in particular, Mr. Taha Amro Boksmati and Mr. Rayan Mutwalli for their valued contribution to resolving several logistical issues during the cruise in the Red Sea. We also thank the captain and crew of R/V AEGAEO (HCMR, Greece) for their support and precious help during the cruise. We would also like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their helpful and constructive comments that greatly helped us improve our manuscript.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science