Coastal erosion-a "new" land-based source of labile mercury to the marine environment

Urszula Kwasigroch , Magdalena Bełdowska , Agnieszka Jędruch , Dominika Saniewska


Mercury (Hg) can be introduced into the marine environment in many different ways. In the case of the Baltic Sea, rivers and atmospheric deposition are the predominant ones. However, in the face of ongoing climate change, a new potential source, coastal erosion, is starting to become more important and is currently considered to be the third largest source of Hg in the Gdansk Basin region. It is especially significant along sections of coastline where, due to the higher frequency of extreme natural phenomena such as storms, heavy rains, and floods, increased erosion processes have already been noted. Cliffs, which account for about 20% of the Polish coastline, are particularly vulnerable. The aim of the study was to estimate the annual load of labile Hg entering the Gdansk Basin as a result of coastal erosion. Samples of down-core sediments (0–65 cm) were collected in the years 2016–2017 from selected cliffs situated in the Gulf of Gdansk area. The thermodesorption method was used to distinguish between labile and stable fractions of Hg. Considering the mean total Hg concentrations in the collected sediments (9.7 ng g−1) and the mean share of labile (64%), bioavailable mercury, it was estimated that the load of labile Hg originating from coastal erosion entering the Gdansk Basin is 10.0 kg per year. The load can increase by up to 50% in the case of episodic abrasion events during heavy storms and rains.
Author Urszula Kwasigroch (FOG / IO / DMChEP)
Urszula Kwasigroch,,
- Division of Marine Chemistry and Environmental Protection
, Magdalena Bełdowska (FOG / IO / DMChEP)
Magdalena Bełdowska,,
- Division of Marine Chemistry and Environmental Protection
, Agnieszka Jędruch (FOG / IO / DMChEP)
Agnieszka Jędruch,,
- Division of Marine Chemistry and Environmental Protection
, Dominika Saniewska (FOG / IO / DMChEP)
Dominika Saniewska,,
- Division of Marine Chemistry and Environmental Protection
Journal seriesEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research, ISSN 0944-1344, (A 30 pkt)
Issue year2018
Publication size in sheets0.6
Keywords in Englishmercury fractionation, mercury load, coastal erosion, cliffs
ASJC Classification2307 Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis; 2310 Pollution; 2304 Environmental Chemistry; 2700 General Medicine
Languageen angielski
LicenseOther; published final; Uznanie Autorstwa (CC-BY); with publication
Score (nominal)30
ScoreMinisterial score = 30.0, ArticleFromJournal
Ministerial score (2013-2016) = 30.0, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 3; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2016 = 1.048; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 2.8 (2) - 2017=2.989 (5)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.