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A combined modelling and geochemical study of the fate of terrigenous inputs from mixed natural and mining sources in a coral reef lagoon (New Caledonia)

Jean-Michel Fernandez 1 Sylvain Ouillon 2 Christophe Chevillon 1 Pascal Douillet 1 Renaud Fichez 1 Romain Le Gendre 1
2 ECOLA - Echanges Côte-Large
LEGOS - Laboratoire d'études en Géophysique et océanographie spatiales
Abstract : Open-cast mining for Ni, Cr and Co was conducted in the south-west part of New Caledonia during the 20th century. Abandoned mining and prospecting sites were severely affected by erosion, resulting in an increase in the load of terrigenous particles transported to the coral reef lagoon. This article assesses the impact of a typical small catchment area (La Coulée River, 85 km2 watershed) on two bays (Boulari and Sainte Marie) located near Noumea, New Caledonia's main city. This multi-disciplinary study combines geochemical, sedimentological, and hydrodynamic approaches. Ni and Cr concentrations contained in the geochemical matrix phase of the pelitic fraction were determined. The study of the geochemical signatures together with sedimentological data and 3D numerical simulations of the transport of non-settling particles throughout the lagoon demonstrated that terrigenous inputs from the Coulée River were mainly transported and deposited along the shoreline, reaching areas as distant as Sainte Marie Bay. Although quantitatively low (about 3% of the pelite mass of the bay sediments), the terrigenous inputs in Sainte Marie Bay originating from the Coulée River could be traced. The metal content in suspended matter was over 7000 mg kg−1 for Ni and 4200 mg kg−1 for Cr.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00434477
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Submitted on : Monday, November 23, 2009 - 1:44:07 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 7:01:17 PM

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Jean-Michel Fernandez, Sylvain Ouillon, Christophe Chevillon, Pascal Douillet, Renaud Fichez, et al.. A combined modelling and geochemical study of the fate of terrigenous inputs from mixed natural and mining sources in a coral reef lagoon (New Caledonia). Marine Pollution Bulletin, Elsevier, 2006, 52 (3), pp.320-331. ⟨10.1016/j.marpolbul.2005.09.010⟩. ⟨hal-00434477⟩

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