Date of Award

Spring 1990

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean/Earth/Atmos Sciences



Committee Director

Joseph H. Rule

Committee Member

Dennis A. Darby

Committee Member

Ronald C. Circe


Metal concentrations in marine sediment and carbonate secreting invertebrates are representative of surrounding environmental chemistry. Aluminum, Ba Ca, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sr, and Zn were measured in carbonate and terrigenous phases of the $<$63 um fraction of sediment samples from two locations in the northcentral Gulf of Mexico. Enrichment factors indicate that Al, Ba, Cu, Cr, Mg, Mn, and Ni are all slightly depleted in these sediments relative to crustal abundances. Discriminant function analyses shows that the concentrations of five elements differ between locations.

Ahermatypic coral (106 specimens) from five genera collected from the study sites were analyzed for Cd, Cu, Cr, Pb, Zn, Mn, Sr, Ba, Fe, Ca and Mg. Eight elements vary between some genera, Al and Ba also vary in concentration in corals between either location. All elements except Sr are significantly depleted in the coral with respect to Ca in the sediment.