In this study, different types of indices were used to assess the ecological risk of trace metal contamination in sediments on the basis of sediment quality guidelines at Veraval Fishery Harbor. Sediment samples were collected from three sectors in pre-, post-, and monsoon seasons in 2006. Trace metal concentrations were higher in the inner sector during post-monsoon, and it showed the highest statistical significance (p<0.01) among the stations. Pollution load index was higher than unity, indicating alternation by effluent discharge from industries. Enrichment factor and geo-accumulation index showed that Cd, Pb, and Zn were enriched in the northern part of the harbor and Pb had accumulated in the harbor sediment. The ecological risk assessment index revealed that Ni, Zn, and Pb were higher than the effect range median values, indicating their potential toxicity to the aquatic environment in the Veraval Harbor. Hence, the harbor is dominated by anthropogenic activities rather than natural process.
Keywords: Enrichment factor; Geo-accumulation index; Pollution load index; Sediments; Trace metals; Veraval Harbor.
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