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Natural Attenuation of Heavy Metal Contamination in the Elefsis Bay
Alexandra Katsiri and Andrea Tringali

The present paper presents the results of the application of a simple mathematical model to assess the natural recovery potential of sediments contaminated with heavy metals in the bay of Elefsis, Attica Greece. The main processes incorporated in the model are inorganic sorption, settling, burial, re-suspension, and pore-water diffusion. The model, solved for steady state conditions predicted well the concentrations of heavy metals in the sediment and in the water column and the calculated values of partition coefficients were in agreement with values reported in the literature. The model was sensitive to the choice of the settling velocity. The time required for the reduction of concentrations to 10% of their present value after termination of all external loads ranged from 2-3 years for cadmium to 19-21 years for chromium and zinc.

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