Post-Gulf-War assessment of nutrients, heavy metal ions, hydrocarbons, and bacterial pollution levels in the United Arab Emirates coastal waters

Ibrahim Banat, ES Hassan, MS El-Shahawi, AH Abu-Hilal

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A post-Gulf War coastal sea water pollution assessment program was carried out through monitoring the concentrations of major nutrients, heavy metal ions, selected hydrocarbons, and selected bacterial communities counts at different sites along the coasts of the United Arab Emirates on the Arabian Gulf. Abu-Dhabi and Dubai coastal waters had occasional high nutrient levels with some fluctuations and wide spatial and temporal variations, suggesting the presence of anthropogenic sources of pollution creating these conditions near the sampling sites. Sharjah and Ajman Creeks had lower nutrient levels. Bacterial counts had distinct patterns peaking in spring and autumn, and diminishing during summer and winter. Total and faecal coliform counts fluctuated depending on the presence of nearby recreation and commercial areas, and were at no time consistently high. Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus, Micrococcus, and Alteromonas were the predominant bacterial genera in these waters. Slightly higher hydrocarbon concentrations were detected both in surface waters and sediments, most likely a result of the deliberate release of crude oil into the Gulf waters during the Gulf War. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-116
JournalEnvironment International
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1998


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