The molecular composition and distribution of sterols were investigated in the East China Sea to identify the origins of suspended particulate matter (SPM) in offshore waters influenced by Changjiang River Diluted Water (CRDW). Total sterol concentrations ranged from 3200 to 31,900pgL(-1) and 663 to 5690pgL(-1) in the particulate and dissolved phases, respectively. Marine sterols dominated representing 71% and 66% in the particulate and dissolved phases, respectively. Typical sewage markers, such as coprostanol, were usually absent at ~250km offshore. However, sterols from allochthonous terrestrial plants were still detected at these sites. A negative relationship was observed between salinity and concentrations of terrestrial sterols in SPM, suggesting that significant amounts of terrestrial particulate matter traveled long distance offshore in the East China Sea, and the Changjiang River Diluted Water (CRDW) was an effective carrier of land-derived particulate organic matter to the offshore East China Sea.
Plastic resin pellets collected at Minh Chau island and Ba Lat estuary between 2007 and 2014 in Vietnam were analyzed for dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethanes (DDTs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs). The study was carried out as part of the International Pellet Watch program for monitoring the global distribution of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Higher levels of DDTs compared to PCBs indicated agricultural inputs rather than industrial discharges in the region. Most POP concentrations on both beaches decreased over the period, with the exception of HCH isomers. Though the concentration of DDTs showed a drastic decline on both beaches between 2007/2008 and 2014, DDTs accounted for 60-80% of total DDTs, suggesting that there is still a fresh input of these chemicals in the region. This study strongly recommends further investigations to track temporal and spatial patterns of POP levels in the marine environment using plastic resin pellets.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and linear alkylbenzenes (LABs) were used as anthropogenic markers of organic chemical pollution of sediments in the Selangor River, Peninsular Malaysia. This study was conducted on sediment samples from the beginning of the estuary to the upstream river during dry and rainy seasons. The concentrations of ƩPAHs and ƩLABs ranged from 203 to 964 and from 23 to 113 ng g(-1) dry weight (dw), respectively. In particular, the Selangor River was found to have higher sedimentary levels of PAHs and LABs during the wet season than in the dry season, which was primarily associated with the intensity of domestic wastewater discharge and high amounts of urban runoff washing the pollutants from the surrounding area. The concentrations of the toxic contaminants were determined according to the Sediment Quality Guidelines (SQGs). The PAH levels in the Selangor River did not exceed the SQGs, for example, the effects range low (ERL) value, indicating that they cannot exert adverse biological effects.
The commonly adopted method of dumping dredge spoil at sea using split-hull barges leads to considerable sediment loss to the water column and a subsequent dispersion of fine material that can pose a risk to sensitive "downstream" habitats such as coral reefs. Containing sediment loads using stitched closed geotextile bags is practiced for minimizing loss of contaminated sediment, but is expensive in terms of operational efficiency. Following promising observations from initial laboratory trials, the plunging of partially shielded sediment loads, released on open sea, was studied. The partial shielding was achieved with rigid, open containers as well as flexible, open bags. The loss of sediment from these modes of shielding was measured, and it was observed that even limited and unstitched shielding can be effective in debilitating the entrainment of water into the descending load. In particular, long-sleeved flexible bags practically self-eliminated the exposure of the load and thus losses.
In this work, a genetic algorithm is applied for the automatic detection of oil spills. The procedure is implemented using sequences from RADARSAT-2 SAR ScanSAR Narrow single-beam data acquired in the Gulf of Mexico. The study demonstrates that the implementation of crossover allows for the generation of an accurate oil spill pattern. This conclusion is confirmed by the receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve. The ROC curve indicates that the existence of oil slick footprints can be identified using the area between the ROC curve and the no-discrimination line of 90%, which is greater than that of other surrounding environmental features. In conclusion, the genetic algorithm can be used as a tool for the automatic detection of oil spills, and the ScanSAR Narrow single-beam mode serves as an excellent sensor for oil spill detection and survey.
A survey among beachgoers was conducted to determine the swimming associated health effects experienced and its relationship with beach water exposure behaviour in Morib beach. For beach water exposure behaviour, the highest frequency of visit among the respondents was once a year (41.9%). For ways of water exposure, whole body exposure including head was the highest (38.5%). For duration of water exposure, 30.8% respondents prefer to be in water for about 30 min with low possibilities of accidental ingestion of beach water. A total of 30.8% of beachgoers in Morib beach were reported of having dermal symptoms. Bivariate analysis showed only water activity, water contact and accidental ingestion of beach water showed significant association with swimming associated health effects experienced by swimmers. This study output showed that epidemiological study can be used to identify swimming associated health effects in beach water exposed to faecal contamination.
This study aims to determine the concentration of sterols used as biomarkers in the surface microlayer (SML) in estuarine areas of the Selangor River, Malaysia. Samples were collected during different seasons through the use of a rotation drum. The analysis of sterols was performed using gas chromatography equipped with a flame ionisation detector (GC-FID). The results showed that the concentrations of total sterols in the SML ranged from 107.06 to 505.55 ng L(-1). The total sterol concentration was found to be higher in the wet season. Cholesterol was found to be the most abundant sterols component in the SML. The diagnostic ratios of sterols show the influence of natural sources and waste on the contribution of sterols in the SML. Further analysis, using principal component analysis (PCA), showed distinct inputs of sterols derived from human activity (40.58%), terrigenous and plant inputs (22.59%) as well as phytoplankton and marine inputs (17.35%).
This study was conducted to determine the composition of surfactants in the sea-surface microlayer (SML) and atmospheric aerosol around the southern region of the Peninsular Malaysia. Surfactants in samples taken from the SML and atmospheric aerosol were determined using a colorimetric method, as either methylene blue active substances (MBAS) or disulphine blue active substances (DBAS). Principal component analysis with multiple linear regressions (PCA-MLR), using the anion and major element composition of the aerosol samples, was used to determine possible sources of surfactants in atmospheric aerosol. The results showed that the concentrations of surfactants in the SML and atmospheric aerosol were dominated by anionic surfactants and that surfactants in aerosol were not directly correlated (p>0.05) with surfactants in the SML. Further PCA-MLR from anion and major element concentrations showed that combustion of fossil fuel and sea spray were the major contributors to surfactants in aerosol in the study area.
The use of antifouling paints to the boats and ships is one among the threats facing coastal resources including coral reefs in recent decades. This study reports the current contamination status of diuron and its behaviour in the coastal waters of Malaysia. The maximum concentration of diuron was 285 ng/L detected at Johor port. All samples from Redang and Bidong coral reef islands were contaminated with diuron. Temporal variation showed relatively high concentrations but no significant difference (P>0.05) during November and January (North-East monsoon) in Klang ports (North, South and West), while higher levels of diuron were detected during April, 2012 (Inter monsoon) in Kemaman, and Johor port. Although no site has shown concentration above maximum permissible concentration (430 ng/L) as restricted by the Dutch Authorities, however, long term exposure studies for environmental relevance levels of diuron around coastal areas should be given a priority in the future.
In this study, the surface sediments of the Malacca and Prai Rivers were analyzed to identify the distributions, and sources of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). The total PAH concentrations varied from 716 to 1210 and 1102 to 7938 ng g(-1)dw in the sediments of the Malacca and Prai Rivers, respectively. The PAH concentrations can be classified as moderate and high level of pollution in the sediments of the Malacca and Prai Rivers, respectively. The comparison of PAHs with the Sediment Quality Guidelines (SQGs) indicates that the PAHs in the sediments of the Malacca and Prai Rivers may have the potential to cause adverse toxicity effects on the sampled ecosystems. The diagnostic ratios of individual PAHs indicate both petrogenic- and pyrogenic-origin PAHs with dominance of pyrogenic source in both rivers. These findings demonstrate that the environmental regulations in Malaysia have effectively reduced the input of petrogenic petroleum hydrocarbons into rivers.
The concentration of carcinogenic poly aromatic hydrocarbons (c-PAHs) present in water and sediment of Klang Strait as well as in the edible tissue of blood cockle (Anadara granosa) was investigated. The human health risk of c-PAHs was assessed in accordance with the standards of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). The cancer risks of c-PAHs to human are expected to occur through the consumption of blood cockles or via gastrointestinal exposure to polluted sediments and water in Kalng Strait. The non-carcinogenic risks that are associated with multiple pathways based on ingestion rate and contact rates with water were higher than the US EPA safe level at almost all stations, but the non-carcinogenic risks for eating blood cockle was below the level of US EPA concern. A high correlation between concentrations of c-PAHs in different matrices showed that the bioaccumulation of c-PAHs by blood cockles could be regarded as a potential health hazard for the consumers.
Median enterococci counts of beach water samples gradually increased at statistically significant levels (χ2: 26.53, df: 4; p<0.0001) with increasing proximity to river influx. The difference in proportion of antibiotic resistant enterococci in beach water and river water samples was statistically significant (p<0.05) for the tested antibiotics with river isolates generally presenting higher resistance frequencies. Virulence genes cyl, esp, gelE and asa were detected at varying frequencies (7.32%, 21.95%, 100% and 63.41% respectively) among river isolates. On the other hand, the prevalence of these genes was lower (0%, 20%, 67.27% and 41.82% respectively) among beach water isolates. Multi-Locus-Sequence-Typing analysis of Enterococcus faecalis presented four sequence types (ST) one of which shared six out of seven tested loci with ST6, a member of the clonal complex of multi-drug resistant strains associated with hospital outbreaks.
The deltaic estuarine system of the Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve of Malaysia is a site where several human settlements and brackish water aquaculture have been established. Here, we evaluated the level of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) and the presence of potentially pathogenic bacteria in the surface water and sediments. Higher levels of FIB were detected at downstream sampling sites from the fishing village, indicating it as a possible source of anthropogenic pollution to the estuary. Enterococci levels in the estuarine sediments were higher than in the surface water, while total coliforms and E. coli in the estuarine sediments were not detected in all samples. Also, various types of potentially pathogenic bacteria, including Klebsiella pneumoniae, Serratia marcescens and Enterobacter cloacae were isolated. The results indicate that the Matang estuarine system is contaminated with various types of potential human bacterial pathogens which might pose a health risk to the public.
Seagrass systems of the Western Pacific region are biodiverse habitats, providing vital services to ecosystems and humans over a vast geographic range. SeagrassNet is a worldwide monitoring program that collects data on seagrass habitats, including the ten locations across the Western Pacific reported here where change at various scales was rapidly detected. Three sites remote from human influence were stable. Seagrasses declined largely due to increased nutrient loading (4 sites) and increased sedimentation (3 sites), the two most common stressors of seagrass worldwide. Two sites experienced near-total loss from of excess sedimentation, followed by partial recovery once sedimentation was reduced. Species shifts were observed at every site with recovering sites colonized by pioneer species. Regulation of watersheds is essential if marine protected areas are to preserve seagrass meadows. Seagrasses in the Western Pacific experience stress due to human impacts despite the vastness of the ocean area and low development pressures.
Glyphosate is globally a widely used herbicide, yet there is little information on their toxicity to marine fishes. Java medaka, a small tropical fish native to coastal areas in several Southeast Asian countries, is viewed as a suitable candidate for toxicity test and thus was used for this study. Java medaka adults were cultured in the laboratory and the fertilized eggs of the F2 generation were exposed to different concentrations of glyphosate-based herbicide (100, 200, 300, 400 and 500 ppm) until they hatched. The survival and hatching rates of the embryos, changes in the heart rate and morphological impairments were recorded. Generally, survival and hatching percentage decreased as glyphosate concentration increased. Absence of pectoral fin(s) and cornea, permanently bent tail, irregular shaped abdomen, and cell disruption in the fin, head and abdomen are among the common teratogenic effects observed. Furthermore, risk factor also increased with the increased in glyphosate concentrations.
Members of the catadromous eel live in various fresh, brackish and marine habitats. Therefore, these eels can accumulate organic pollutants and are a suitable bioindicator species for determining the levels of organic contaminants within different water bodies. The ecological risk for organochlorine compounds (OCs) in Anguilla japonica with various migration patterns, such as freshwater, estuarine and marine residences, was examined to understand the specific accumulation patterns. The concentrations of HCB, ∑HCHs, ∑CHLs and ∑DDTs in the silver stage (maturing) eel were significantly higher than those in the yellow stage (immature) eel, in accordance with the higher lipid contents in the former versus the latter. The OC accumulations were clearly different among migratory types in the eel. The ecological risk of OCs increased as the freshwater residence period in the eel lengthened. The migratory histories and the lipid contents directly affected the OC accumulation in the catadromous eel species.
Nineteen pairs of air and seawater samples collected from the equatorial Indian Ocean onboard the Shiyan I from 4/2011 to 5/2011 were analyzed for PCBs and HCB. Gaseous concentrations of ∑(ICES)PCBs (ICES: International Council for the Exploration of the Seas) and HCB were lower than previous data over the study area. Air samples collected near the coast had higher levels of PCBs relative to those collected in the open ocean, which may be influenced by proximity to source regions and air mass origins. Dissolved concentrations of ∑(ICES)PCBs and HCB were 1.4-14 pg L⁻¹ and 0.94-13 pg L⁻¹, with the highest concentrations in the sample collected from Strait of Malacca. Fugacity fractions suggest volatilization of PCBs and HCB from the seawater to air during the cruise, with fluxes of 0.45-34 ng m⁻² d⁻¹ and 0.36-18 ng m⁻² d⁻¹, respectively.
This study aims to determine the levels of methylene blue active substances (MBAS) and ethyl violet active substances (EVAS) as anionic surfactants and of disulphine blue active substances (DBAS) as cationic surfactants in the surface microlayer (SML) around an estuarine area using colorimetric methods. The results show that the concentrations of surfactants around the estuarine area were dominated by anionic surfactants (MBAS and EVAS) with average concentrations of 0.39 and 0.51 μmol L⁻¹, respectively. There were significant between-station differences in surfactant concentrations (p<0.05) with higher concentrations found at the stations near the sea. The concentration of surfactants was higher during the rainy season than the dry season due to the influence of runoff water. Further investigation using total organic carbon (TOC) and total organic nitrogen (TON) shows that there is a significant correlation (p<0.05) between both anionic and cationic surfactants and the TON concentration.
The study presents a baseline variability and climatology study of measured hydrodynamic, water properties and some water quality parameters of West Johor Strait, Singapore at hourly-to-seasonal scales to uncover their dependency and correlation to one or more drivers. The considered parameters include, but not limited by sea surface elevation, current magnitude and direction, solar radiation and air temperature, water temperature, salinity, chlorophyll-a and turbidity. FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) analysis is carried out for the parameters to delineate relative effect of tidal and weather drivers. The group and individual correlations between the parameters are obtained by principal component analysis (PCA) and cross-correlation (CC) technique, respectively. The CC technique also identifies the dependency and time lag between driving natural forces and dependent water property and water quality parameters. The temporal variability and climatology of the driving forces and the dependent parameters are established at the hourly, daily, fortnightly and seasonal scales.
The status report on metal pollution in tropical estuaries and coastal waters is important to understand potential environmental health hazards. Detailed baseline measurements were made on physicochemical parameters (pH, temperature, redox potential, electrical conductivity, salinity, dissolved oxygen, total dissolved solid), major ions (Na, Ca, Mg, K, HCO3, Cl, SO4 and NO3) and metals concentrations ((27)Al, (75)As, (138)Ba, (9)Be, (111)Cd, (59)Co, (63)Cu, (52)Cr, (57)Fe, (55)Mn, (60)Ni, (208)Pb, (80)Se, (66)Zn) at estuaries and coastal waters along the Straits of Malacca. Principal component analysis (PCA) was employed to reveal potential pollution sources. Seven principal components were extracted with relation to pollution contribution from minerals-related parameters, natural and anthropogenic sources. The output from this study will generate a profound understanding on the metal pollution status and pollution risk of the estuaries and coastal system.