Transferts et dynamique des contaminants métalliques en zone côtière. : Impact d’une grande agglomération méditerranéenne

Abstract : The aim of this PhD was to evaluate the impact from Marseille agglomeration on thecoastal area, using trace metals and organic carbon quantification. On the French Mediterraneancoast, Marseille is the largest agglomeration (~1.7M inhabitants), located directly on coast andhave the biggest European underground wastewater treatment plan (WWTP, 1.62M eq). Theimpact of this urbanized and industrialized area on the coastal zone (bulk fluxes) remainsmisunderstood, because of the multiplicity of contaminant sources (direct inputs(rivers/effluents) vs. diffusive ones (coastal industrial wasteland, aerosols, …)) partlycontrolled by climatic conditions. Similarly, the transfer mechanisms of contaminants thatcontrol their fate to the open sea (net fluxes) have to be studied. In such context, numerouswater and sediment sampling campaigns were performed during contrasted climatic conditions(baseflow vs. flood) in the tributaries and along a 2km coastal-offshore transect in front of theoutputs. The main objectives of this study were to determine contaminants sources, transfermechanisms and fate in the coastal zone. During baseflow conditions, results have shown thatthe system dynamic is mainly controlled by the WWTP inputs, that are for instance the maincontributor (>75%) of Ag, Cu or Pb inputs to the coastal area. When discharged to the sea, thestudied trace metals presented non-conservative behaviours, consecutive to adissolved/particulate fractionation out of equilibrium in the outlets associated to fastremobilization at the beginning of the salinity gradient. These results were confirmed by labremobilization experiments allowing to better understand the desorption kinetics of tracemetals. Under such conditions, it was demonstrated that on-field filtration is a prerequisite toavoid under-estimation of the dissolved fraction of trace metals. The monitoring of a flood eventduring a rainy period has shown the high reactivity of the studied system, a peculiarity ofMediterraneean coastal rivers. Most of the studied trace metals, mainly brought in theparticulate fraction, suffer desorption processes when discharged to the sea, a processcharacterized by kinetics slower and effective at higher salinity in comparison to baseflowinputs. These differences are most probably linked to the nature of particles being urban andorganic during baseflow, mostly terrigeneous and inorganic during flood. Finally, a settling rateexperiment was designed in the lab in order to evaluate the physical and chemical characteristicsof representative particles. The obtained parameters were integrated in the 3D hydrodynamicand sediment transport model of IFREMER allowing to better evaluate the fate of pollutedparticles in the coastal area.
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Benjamin Oursel. Transferts et dynamique des contaminants métalliques en zone côtière. : Impact d’une grande agglomération méditerranéenne. Autre. Université de Toulon, 2013. Français. ⟨NNT : 2013TOUL0019⟩. ⟨tel-01132521⟩

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