Suzdalev, S., Gulbinskas S.

Total petroleum hydrocarbons in surface sediments of the Lithuanian coastal area of the Baltic Sea


Operation of large oil import/export terminals and intensive shipping activities together with input of hazardous substances from terrestrial runoff and constantly developing cities makes the Lithuanian part of the Baltic Sea especially sensitive to contamination with oil products. The paper presents an overview of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) distribution in surface sediments at the Lithuanian near shore and within the Klaipėda State Seaport area – transitional marine-lagoon system. The study is based on the results of examination of surface sediment samples carried out in 2010–2012. The variations of TPH content in bottom sediments are explained by differences in grain size and the genesis of the investigated sediments as well as the degree of organic material decomposition. Extreme values obtained in the Klaipėda Strait area indicate presence of additional TPH contamination sources possibly of anthropogenic origin.


Keywords petroleum hydrocarbons, bottom sediments, lithology, organic matter, contamination

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