Southern England sediment elemental concentration data

Published: 03-03-2021| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/m68k63nnk3.2
Simon Bray,
Tom McAleese,


The database provides a summary of >45,000 contaminant concentration data points for twenty-nine marine sediment chemicals from 334 Southern England (UK) sites (sites within the English/French Channel and the southern North and Celtic Seas), covering a survey period of 31 years (1983-2013). The database provides spatially and temporally extensive records of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), mercury (Hg), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) concentrations in sediments from coastal and open sea sites. Additional records of manganese (Mn), aluminium (Al), lithium (Li), tin (Sn) [and tributyltin (TBT)], barium (Ba), antimony (Sb), boron (B), calcium (Ca), molybdenum (Mo), cobalt (Co), selenium (Se), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), beryllium (Be), vanadium (V), titanium (Ti), sodium (Na), silver (Ag), thallium (Tl) and strontium (Sr) represent approximately 13 % of the full database. The database can be used to assess the contaminant load for specific sites, but also to strengthen and target current and future legislative control measures for anthropogenic contaminant inputs. Information contained in the database is relevant to marine ecotoxicologists, coastal ecologists (practitioners, scientists and policy makers) and government decision makers.


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UK coastal monitoring data on elemental concentrations in sediment samples are held in two key public repositories: a) the Environment Agency (EA) and b) the MERMAN database managed by the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) under the Clean Safe Seas Environmental Monitoring Programme (CSEMP). From these a merged EA-MERMAN database focused on the Channel, southern North and Celtic Seas was generated. The merged database is the result of a rigorous data selection-validation process detailed in the associated Data In Brief methodological paper entitled: "Data on elemental concentrations in marine sediments from the South and South West of England". Elemental concentration data in marine sediments (coastal and open sea) are presented and discussed in the associated Environment International paper entitled: “Three decades of trace element sediment contamination: the mining of governmental databases and the need to address hidden sources for clean and healthy seas”.