Reevaluation of Minamata Bay, 25 years after the dredging of mercury-polluted sediments

Matsuyama Akito, Yano Shinichiro, Hisano Akihiro, Kindaichi Michiaki, Sonoda Ikuko, Tada Akihide, Akagi Hirokatsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


A detailed investigation of mercury concentrations in the bottom sediments of Minamata Bay was performed in May, 2012. A total of 691 sediment samples were obtained from 107 sampling points in the bay. The weighted average total mercury concentration and the total mass of mercury in the bottom sediments of Minamata Bay were estimated to be 2.3. mg/kg dry weight basis and 3.4. tons, respectively. The average concentration of total mercury in the surface layer of the sediments was 3.0. mg/kg dry weight basis, and the distribution pattern of total mercury concentrations in the surface layer was found to have changed little in comparison to results reported 25. years ago. In addition, based on the results of seawater monitoring in Minamata Bay from 2010 to 2012, the amounts of total mercury and methylmercury mobilized from sediments and dissolved in the water column were 0.7 and 0.1. kg/yr, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-120
Number of pages9
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 15 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution


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