Variability of phosphate nutrient concentrations in sediments of Kuwait marine environment

Qusaie Karam, Altaf Taqi, Dana Al-Houti, Noor Al-Dousari, Yousef Al-osairi, Tanuspong Pokavanich

Wednesday 1 july 2015

12:00 - 12:15h at Asia (level 0)

Themes: (T) Hydro-environment, (ST) Impacts of pollutants on the water environment

Parallel session: 9G. Environment - Impact

Kuwait is located at the upper part of the Arabian Gulf, and its marine environment has undergone extensive environmental stress because of ongoing coastal development activities along its coastline. Mainly, oil related activities, other developmental projects and anthropogenic activities have resulted in numerous marine pollution issues. One of the main sources for such pollution in the marine environment is domestic-industrial sewage discharge from coastal outfalls. High concentrations of nutrients in water bodies such as phosphate can lead to excessive algal blooms, fish kill incidents, oxygen depletion and ultimately eutrophication phenomenon. Bottom marine sediments are considered the ultimate sink for contaminants and their levels in sediment could sometimes reflect the general status of marine ecosystem health. Sediment samples were collected from selected outfalls along Kuwait coastline from four main sampling zones (covering the area from Kuwait Bay to the southern region of Kuwait’s coastline). Loosely bound phosphate levels were determined in sediment samples using spectrophotometer. The highest average phosphate concentration was measured at zone (A) 0.54 mg/g, followed by zone (B) 0.13 mg/g, then zone (C) 0.07 mg/g and finally zone (D) 0.05 mg/g. Variations of loosely sorbed phosphate concentrations noticed in the investigated sampled zones clearly indicate the nature of anthropogenic activities associated with each sampling zone. Findings from this study are significant for environmental impact assessment of Kuwait marine ecosystem health and for the understanding of water and sediment quality patterns in the region.