Coastal cliff erosion as a source of toxic, essential and nonessential metals in the marine environment - Publikacja - MOST Wiedzy


Coastal cliff erosion as a source of toxic, essential and nonessential metals in the marine environment


Due to the rising environmental awareness, emissions and releases of pollutants, including metals, have been considerably reduced in the last decades. Therefore, the remobiliza-tion of natural and anthropogenic contaminants is gaining importance in their biogeochemical cycle. In the marine coastal zone, this process occurs during the erosion of a shore, especially the most vulnerable cliffs. The research was conducted in the Gulf of Gda ńsk (southern Baltic Sea) from 2016 to 2017. The sediment cores were collected from four cliffs; additionally, marine surface sediments were also taken. The concentrations of essential (Cr, Mn, Fr, Cu, Zn) and nonessential (Rb, Sr, Y, Zr, Ba) metals were analyzed using the XRF technique. The levels of the analyzed metals were relatively low, typical of nonpolluted areas. However, considering the mass of eroded sediments, the annual load of metals introduced into the sea in this way is significant. In the case of Cu, Zn, and Y the load can amount to a few kilograms, for Cr and Rb-over ten kilograms, for Mn, Sr, and Zr-several tens of kilograms, for toxic Ba-over 100 kg, and in the case of Fe-4.8 tonnes. During strong winds and storms, when the upper part of a cliff is eroded, especially the load of Zn and Cr entering the sea may increase. The content of Cr, Zr, and Ba in the cliffs was higher compared to marine sediments from the deep accumulation bottom, which indicates that coastal erosion may be an important source of these metals.


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ISSN: 0078-3234
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