The pollution of Izmir Bay was investigated by measuring the trace elements of the surface sediments. The sediment samples were collected from 100 locations in Izmir Bay, five rivers and five sewer outfalls. The collected samples were acid digested and analyzed by flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS), flame atomic emission spectrometry (FAES), graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS) and X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF) for a total of 16 trace elements. Selected samples were also analyzed by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) for 39 additional elements. The AAS, XRF and INAA techniques agreed fairly well for most of the elements studied. The concentrations of elements showed significant differences between inner, middle and outer bays with higher concentrations in the inner bay. The distributions of the crustal enrichment factors were also prepared and investigated. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.