Krek, A., Danchenkov, A., Ulyanova, M., Ryabchuk, D.

Heavy metals contamination of the sediments of the south-eastern Baltic Sea: the impact of economic development

Abstract The scope of the study was to assess the impact of potential sources of Cu, Zn, Co, Ni, and Cr on bottom sediments of the Russian sector of the south-eastern Baltic Sea. A total of 68 samples were taken and analyzed for grain-size (laser diffraction and sieve method) and heavy metal concentration (atomic absorption spectroscopy method). To avoid the influence of the sorption capacity of the fine-grained sediments to accumulate the pollutants, the normalization of the heavy metal concentration to Fe was applied. The environmental indices (contamination factor and modified degree of contamination) were calculated. The research has shown the contribution of oil platform, pipelines, ports and wastewater treatment facilities on the geochemical composition of bottom sediments. The authors have identified the level of heavy metals contamination of the middle parts of the Curonian and Vistula spits as a result of alongshore transport of pollutants.


Keywords heavy metals; bottom sediments; normalization; environmental indices; Russian sector of the Baltic Sea

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