Sterols and fecal indicator microorganisms in sediments from Admiralty Bay, Antarctica

César de Castro Martins, Rosalinda Carmela Montone, Rosa Carvalho Gamba, Vivian Helena Pellizari
2005 Brazilian Journal of Oceanography  
Sediments from the proximity of Ferraz station outfall, located in Admiralty Bay, Antarctica, were analyzed for fecal indicator microorganisms and sterols during the austral summer of 1999/2000 in order to assess human sewage input. Concentrations of total sterols and coprostanol ranged from 0.09 to 19.6 ¼g.g-1 and < 0.01 and 14.0 ¼g.g-1 dry weight (dw), respectively. Our analyses indicated that only sites within to 400m of the sewage outfall exhibited a sterol signal characteristic of human
more » ... age input. Low levels of coprostanol and high levels of cholesterol in distant sites could be attributed to natural sources such as marine mammals and planktonic organisms. Fecal indicator microorganisms (E. coli, fecal streptococci and Clostridium perfringens) were non-detectable beyond 50m from outfall. Both indicators (sterols and fecal indicator microorganisms) produced consistent data and fecal sterol parameters have sho wn themselves to be efficient in the evaluation of trace amounts of fecal material. This study concluded that sewage contamination is limited to the immediate vicinity of the sewage outfall. In general, the concentration of fecal sterols and microbiological indicators were lower than in other Antarctic areas.
doi:10.1590/s1679-87592005000100001 fatcat:owj2b7iu5bayfbt5tsrvclahdq