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Geochemical Analysis of Coastal Sediments near Larache and Moulay Bousselham, Morocco
 
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1
Geosciences Laboratory, Faculty of Sciences, Ibn Tofail University, Kenitra, Morocco.
 
2
Laboratory of Geosciences and Applications, Faculty of Sciences Ben M’Sik, University Hassan II of Casablanca, B.P.7955, Casablanca, Morocco
 
3
Laboratory of Neutron Activation Analysis, National Center for Energy, Sciences and Nuclear Techniques (CNESTEN), Morocco
 
4
Department of Biology, Laboratory of Biology and Health, Faculty of Sciences, Ibn Tofail University, Kenitra, Morocco
 
 
Corresponding author
Soukaina El Idrissi   

Geosciences Laboratory, Faculty of Sciences, Ibn Tofail University, Kenitra, Morocco.
 
 
Ecol. Eng. Environ. Technol. 2024; 8:222-232
 
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ABSTRACT
The aim of this study is to identify the main pollutants and evaluate the mechanisms of sediment transport from land to sea. This goal is justified by environmental pollution in the area associated with dredging and port activities. The objective is planned to be achieved by investigating the geochemical behavior of major and trace elements in fourteen surface sediment samples collected along the Moroccan Atlantic coast, from the mouth of the Lukkous River to the coast between the cities of Larache and Moulay Bousselam. k0-standardization method of neutron activation analysis using neutrons of the Moroccan Triga Mark II research reactor at the National Centre for Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology (CNESTEN), has been used for analysis of collected sediment samples. The enrichment factor analysis revealed high levels of arsenic and chlorine, along with significant calcium enrichment, were found along the Atlantic coast. The enrichment factors (FE) for arsenic and chlorine are in the range of 20 < FE < 40, and for calcium, the FE is in the range of 5 < FE < 20. Conversely, some elements exhibited little to no enrichment, suggesting a crustal origin. PCA helped in synthesizing these findings, providing a clearer understanding of the spatial variations in sediment composition based on their multi-elemental signatures. The research examines surface sediments along the Moroccan Atlantic coast, revealing current contamination levels and geochemical behavior. These findings, applicable to similar coastal environments, are crucial for monitoring and managing sediment quality, especially in areas affected by erosion. Additionally, dredging and port activities in this region significantly disturb the sediments, resuspending contaminants and altering sediment composition, which further exacerbates pollution issues. This study offers a comprehensive geochemical characterization of coastal sediments in Morocco, enhancing understanding of sediment contamination and geochemical processes, with implications for environmental protection and sustainable marine resource management.
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