The impact of marine shallow-water hydrothermal venting on arsenic and mercury accumulation by seaweed Sargassum sinicola in Concepcion Bay, Gulf of California

Acosta, María Luisa Leal; Shumilin, Evgueni; Mirlean, Nicolai; Delgadillo-Hinojosa, Francisco; Sánchez-Rodríguez, Ignacio


The influence of hydrothermal venting activity on arsenic (As) and mercury (Hg) accumulation was investigated in the shallow-water marine ecosystem of Concepcion Bay in the western Gulf of California. Geochemical data indicate that the marine shallow-water hydrothermal system of the Mapachitos site is a source of As and Hg for the water, sediment and algae collected along a transect moving across the western region of the bay. Although a small proportion of As and Hg precipitates close to the hydrothermal vent, both elements remain largely in the dissolved fraction, spreading a long distance from the source. The brown seaweed Sargassum sinicola thriving near the area of hydrothermal venting accumulates large quantities of As (above 600 mg kg 1 ), surpassing its typical concentration in the genus Sargassum by an order of magnitude. In contrast to As, the seaweed does not significantly accumulate Hg.

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