Abstract – Port areas are generally affected by anthropogenic impacts, which favor pollution and spoil water quality and aquatic ecosystems. In July 2015, a geochemical and biological transect was carried out in the Port of Viareggio (Tuscany, central Italy) from the main channel (Burlamacca), predominantly fed by the waters of the adjacent Massaciuccoli Lake, to the main docks and the open sea. Nine stations were studied for physical, chemical, bio-optical and biological parameters investigating, for each site, the vertical profile of the water column. The main aim was to provide a preliminary water quality assessment of the port area. The inorganic chemical composition highlighted the presence of mixing processes between seawater and low-salinity waters, causing a gradient of transitional waters and a vertical stratification of the water chemistry with increasing Na+-Cl- concentration in the deep waters and moving toward the sea while dissolved O2 was decreasing with depth and towards inland. Relatively high concentrations of Hg and Ni were localized in seven samples in the docks area and the Burlamacca Channel, possibly related to: 1) industrial punctual pollution; 2) input of domestic wastewaters; 3) input from agricultural practices. A sharp decreasing trend from the innermost waters to the open sea characterized most of the analyzed parameters. Trophic indicators (chlorophyll-a, total nitrogen-N and total phosphorus-P) and CDOM (chromophoric dissolved organic matter) concentrations decreased from the highest values in the inner docks to the site located outside the port. The highly eutrophic conditions of the waters were summarized using TRIX index (Chla, oxygen saturation, N and P), which assigned a “poor” ecological status to all the port sampled stations and “moderate” to the marine site. The light attenuation coefficient was well correlated with the concentrations of the optical components (total suspended matter-TSM, CDOM, Chla), with a prevailing role of CDOM and Chla, confirming the eutrophic conditions and the key role of phytoplankton, which was present in relatively high abundances with a typical composition of transitional waters. An inside-outside gradient of zooplankton diversity was also observed, along which the more confined waters showed the lowest biodiversity index values, with the presence of a few dominant species. The multivariate models showed water temperature, conductivity and CDOM as significant variables to explain the observed variations. Impact of shipyards, low hydrodynamics and nutrient inflow from the Burlamacca Channel appeared as the main elements affecting the port, posing serious risks to the natural balances.

Water quality in the Port of Viareggio: a geochemical and biological characterization / Cabassi, Jacopo; Rossano, Claudia; Gambineri, Simone; Fani, Fabiola; Vaselli, Orlando; Tassi, Franco; Giannini, Luciano; Lazzara, Luigi; Nuccio, Caterina; Buccianti, Antonella; Capecchiacci, Francesco; Mannucci, Mannuccio; Massi, Luca; Melillo, Chiara; Mori, Giovanna; Scapini, Felicita. - ELETTRONICO. - Proceeding and Reports; 112:(2017), pp. 5-14. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Monitoring of Mediterranean Coastal Areas: problems and measurements techniques tenutosi a Livorno nel September 28-29, 2016.

Water quality in the Port of Viareggio: a geochemical and biological characterization

CABASSI, JACOPO;ROSSANO, CLAUDIA;GAMBINERI, SIMONE;FANI, FABIOLA;VASELLI, ORLANDO;TASSI, FRANCO;GIANNINI, LUCIANO;LAZZARA, LUIGI;NUCCIO, CATERINA;BUCCIANTI, ANTONELLA;CAPECCHIACCI, FRANCESCO;MANNUCCI, MANNUCCIO;MASSI, LUCA;MELILLO, CHIARA;MORI, GIOVANNA;SCAPINI, FELICITA
2017

Abstract

Abstract – Port areas are generally affected by anthropogenic impacts, which favor pollution and spoil water quality and aquatic ecosystems. In July 2015, a geochemical and biological transect was carried out in the Port of Viareggio (Tuscany, central Italy) from the main channel (Burlamacca), predominantly fed by the waters of the adjacent Massaciuccoli Lake, to the main docks and the open sea. Nine stations were studied for physical, chemical, bio-optical and biological parameters investigating, for each site, the vertical profile of the water column. The main aim was to provide a preliminary water quality assessment of the port area. The inorganic chemical composition highlighted the presence of mixing processes between seawater and low-salinity waters, causing a gradient of transitional waters and a vertical stratification of the water chemistry with increasing Na+-Cl- concentration in the deep waters and moving toward the sea while dissolved O2 was decreasing with depth and towards inland. Relatively high concentrations of Hg and Ni were localized in seven samples in the docks area and the Burlamacca Channel, possibly related to: 1) industrial punctual pollution; 2) input of domestic wastewaters; 3) input from agricultural practices. A sharp decreasing trend from the innermost waters to the open sea characterized most of the analyzed parameters. Trophic indicators (chlorophyll-a, total nitrogen-N and total phosphorus-P) and CDOM (chromophoric dissolved organic matter) concentrations decreased from the highest values in the inner docks to the site located outside the port. The highly eutrophic conditions of the waters were summarized using TRIX index (Chla, oxygen saturation, N and P), which assigned a “poor” ecological status to all the port sampled stations and “moderate” to the marine site. The light attenuation coefficient was well correlated with the concentrations of the optical components (total suspended matter-TSM, CDOM, Chla), with a prevailing role of CDOM and Chla, confirming the eutrophic conditions and the key role of phytoplankton, which was present in relatively high abundances with a typical composition of transitional waters. An inside-outside gradient of zooplankton diversity was also observed, along which the more confined waters showed the lowest biodiversity index values, with the presence of a few dominant species. The multivariate models showed water temperature, conductivity and CDOM as significant variables to explain the observed variations. Impact of shipyards, low hydrodynamics and nutrient inflow from the Burlamacca Channel appeared as the main elements affecting the port, posing serious risks to the natural balances.
Sixth International Simposium. Monitoring of Mediterranean Coastal Areas: problems and measurements techniques
Monitoring of Mediterranean Coastal Areas: problems and measurements techniques
Livorno
September 28-29, 2016
Cabassi, Jacopo; Rossano, Claudia; Gambineri, Simone; Fani, Fabiola; Vaselli, Orlando; Tassi, Franco; Giannini, Luciano; Lazzara, Luigi; Nuccio, Caterina; Buccianti, Antonella; Capecchiacci, Francesco; Mannucci, Mannuccio; Massi, Luca; Melillo, Chiara; Mori, Giovanna; Scapini, Felicita
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