Author(s): Maria Gabriella Giustra; Giuseppe Barbera; Roberto Feo; Vincenzo Pampalone; Gaetano Di Bella; Gabriele Freni
Linked Author(s): Gabriele Freni
Keywords: Industrial pollution; Seawater system; Rada d’Augusta; Contaminated sediments; Submarine drone
Abstract: In the last fifty years the growing industrial activities have caused a heavy environmental pollution in marine ecosystems in Rada d’Augusta, which is a part of the Site of National Interest (SNI) of Priolo Gargallo (Siracuse, Italy) .Pollutants derived from uncontrolled industrial wastewater discharges have been accumulated in sediments, which represent a secondary source of contamination and consequently a health hazard both for fauna and human being. A new approach of heavy industrial pollution characterization in seawater system was developed in SIBSAC, an industrial research project (Programma Operativo Nazionale Ricerca e Competitività2007-2013 n°01_01844 Ministero dell’Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio e del Mare) .The objective of the SIBSAC project was the investigation of a combined system to clean up oil tanker wastewaters and sediments at bench and prototype scale. To evaluate to evaluate the sea bottom environmental quality and develop a possible ecological remediation, grain size and chemical-physical conditions, for ten hand core sediments collected inside the northern harbor area, have been analyzed. To gain information about water quality conditions, and how the sediment matrix interacts with the potential contaminated seawater, a submarine Eco Mapper AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) was used. By means of a side-scan sonar dual-frequency (330/800 k Hz) the bathymetry and the morphology of Augusta' s harbour were mapped and conductivity, temperature, salinity, p H, redox potential and dissolved oxygen of the water column was analyzed.