The distribution of heavy metals and 137Cs in the central part of the Polish maritime zone (Baltic Sea) - the area selected for wind farm acquisition

Agata Zaborska , Alicja Kosakowska , Jacek Bełdowski , Magdalena Bełdowska , Marta Szubska , Jolanta Walkusz-Miotk , Adam Żak , Agnieszka Ciechanowicz , Maciej Wdowiak


Disturbances of the marine sediments that may be induced by offshore wind energy (OWE) construction and functioning may cause reintroduction of contaminants accumulated in the sea bottom over last century. It is thus very important to check in which offshore region of the Polish coast the littlest consequences of the OWE construction may be expected. The area of 9000 km2 in the central part of the Polish economic zone was selected for sediments sampling. In total, sediments from 46 stations were collected by gravity twin corer or geo-vibro corer. Heavy metal (Hg, Pb, Cd, As, Zn, Cu, Cr, Ni, Fe, Mn) concentrations were measured by AAS and ICP-MS while 137 Cs activity concentrations were measured by gamma spectrometer. Sediment accumulation rates were quantified by 210Pb geochronology at 7 stations to follow the history of contaminants accumulation. Study areas located between isobaths of 20 m and 40 m were characterized by the lowest concentration of heavy metals, often below natural environmental background (e.g. Pb = 6.7 − 11.4 μg·g−1, As = 0.3 − 8.4 μg·g−1). The largest contamination by heavy metals (e.g. Pb reached 86.1 μg·g−1 while As = 21.0 μg·g−1) was visible at the outer part of Bornholm Basin and in Słupsk Furrow, the deepest studied regions. Highest accumulation of heavy metals in this area is connected to large fraction of pelite sediments and large proportion of organic matter at those stations. It may be concluded that shallow sandy sediments of the Southern Baltic are unpolluted and appropriate for OWE construction. Deeper sea regions e.g Słupsk Furrow and Bornholm Basin may be regarded as moderately polluted and therefore not recommended for OWE acquisition.
Author Agata Zaborska
Agata Zaborska,,
, Alicja Kosakowska
Alicja Kosakowska,,
, Jacek Bełdowski
Jacek Bełdowski,,
, Magdalena Bełdowska ZChMiOŚM
Magdalena Bełdowska,,
- Division of Marine Chemistry and Environmental Protection
, Marta Szubska
Marta Szubska,,
, Jolanta Walkusz-Miotk
Jolanta Walkusz-Miotk,,
, Adam Żak
Adam Żak,,
, Agnieszka Ciechanowicz
Agnieszka Ciechanowicz,,
, Maciej Wdowiak
Maciej Wdowiak,,
Journal seriesEstuarine Coastal and Shelf Science, ISSN 0272-7714
Issue year2017
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in EnglishBaltic Sea, marine sediments, heavy metals, radiocesium, contamination, offshore wind energy
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)35
ScoreMinisterial score = 35.0, 26-02-2018, ArticleFromJournal
Ministerial score (2013-2016) = 35.0, 26-02-2018, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Impact Factor: 2016 = 2.176 (2) - 2016=2.541 (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.