Mercury concentration in the sediments as a function of changing climate in coastal zone of Southern Baltic Sea – preliminary results
1 Institute of Oceanography, University of Gdansk, al. Pilsudskiego 46, 81-378 Gdynia, POLAND
2 Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences, ul. Powstancow Warszawy 55, 81-712 Sopot, POLAND
Mercury, despite of its many uses in industry, is also highly toxic. It is highly neurotoxic, and because of the ability of mercury to penetrate placental barrier, in some countries ban on predatory fish consumption (the main route of mercury into human organism) by pregnant women was introduced. There are very little publications describing the consequences of weather anomalies on contaminants cycles. No research was published concerning the reemission of Hg due to climate change in the Southern Baltic Sea. The study area was situated in the coastal zone of the Gulf of Gdansk - the Southern Baltic. Samples of different species of macrophytobenthos were collected once a month during 2006-2012. Samples of Potamogeton pectinatus, sediments and pore waters were collected once a month from February 2011 to January 2012. The climate changes in the moderate latitudes: extension of the fall season, has contributed to stabilization of high concentrations of mercury in pore waters. Lack of ice cover in the coastal zone and simultaneous occurrence of storms had an impact on supply of the organic matter to the sediments and the increased concentration of Hg. More intense burning of fossil fuels in this season favored the increased metal concentration in the atmosphere and consequently an increase of the atmospheric deposition of metals to the sediments. This led to a fourfold increase of the mercury concentration in sediments as compared to fall season.
Key words: mercury / porewater / sediments / climate change / coastal zone / aquatic vascular plants
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013
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