Kurilenko, V., Osmolovskaya, N.

Heavy metal pollution of Kotlin Island in the Gulf of Finland


Abstract. The current environmental state of Kotlin Island and coastal areas reflects the negative impact of industry, transport and urban utilities that has lead to increased heavy metal content in soils, in terrestrial and aquatic vegetation and in the water of the Gulf of Finland. Based on the analysis of pollutant metals in roots and shoots of native plants grown on Kotlin Island, species with high metal-accumulating capacity have been identified. Of these, there were dandelion and coltsfoot demonstrating high mobility in heavy metals, especially Zn, upward transfer. These could therefore be promising as bioindicators and phytoremediators of polluted areas pointing to origins of contamination. The presence of heavy metal contamination in the coastal waters of the gulf and its variability along the coastline is regarded as dependent on multiple sources of pollution associated with Kotlin Island, namely industrial and municipal waste waters, ship and vehicle traffic, aerosol deposits, contamination by dredging activity in a new port as well as the result of metals leaching from the soils of the island (Zn, Cu, Ni). Metal-accumulating coastal plants such as cane can be a source of secondary pollution of the gulf waters during their seasonal decomposition. The data showed significantly elevated concentrations of Ni, Zn and Cd in the hair of children living in the town of Kronstadt located on Kotlin Island that confirms the adequacy of the proposed indicating methodology and shows the unfavourable environmental situation in the region.

Doi 10.5200/baltica.2015.28.01

Keywords ecogeology, heavy metals, environment pollution, soil, plants, biogeochemical cycling of metals, bioindication, phytoremediation

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