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Overlying bottom water samples were collected in the Vistula River plume, southern Baltic Sea, (Poland) and analysed for dissolved and labile particulate (1 M HCl extractable) Cu, Pb, Zn, Mn, Fe and Ni, hydrological parameters being measured simultaneously. Particulate organic matter (POM), chlorophyll a and dissolved oxygen are key factors governing the chemical behaviour of the measured metal fractions. For the dissolved Cu, Pb, Zn, Fe and Ni two maxima, in the shallow and in the deeper part of the river plume, were found. In the shallow zone desorption from seaward fluxing metal-rich riverine particles account for markedly increased metal concentrations, as confirmed also by high particulate metal contents. For Pb, atmospheric inputs were also considered to have contributed to the elevated concentrations of dissolved Pb adjacent to the river mouth. In the deep zone desorption from detrital and/or resuspended particles by aerobic decomposition of organic material may be the main mechanism responsible for enrichment of particle-reactive metals (Cu, Pb, Zn) in the overyling bottom waters. The increased concentrations of dissolved Fe may have been due to reductive dissolution of Fe oxyhydroxides within the deep sediments by which dissolved Ni was released to the water. The distribution of Mn was related to dissolved oxygen concentrations, indicating that Mn is released to the water column under oxygen reduced conditions. However, Mn transfer to the dissolved phase from anoxic sediments in deeper part of the Vistula plume was hardly evidenced suggesting that benthic flux of Mn occurs under more severe reductive regime than is consistent with mobilization of Fe. Behaviour of Mn in a shallower part has been presumably affected by release from porewaters and by oxidization into less soluble species resulting in seasonal removal of this metal (e.g. in April) from the dissolved phase. The particulate fractions represented from about 6% (Ni) and 33% (Mn, Zn, Cu) to 80% (Fe) and 89% (Pb) of the total (labile particulate plus dissolved) concentrations. The affinity of the metals for particulate matter decreased in the following order: Pb > Fe > Zn greater than or equal to Cu > Mn > Ni. Significant relationships between particulate Pb-Zn-Cu reflected the affinity of these metals for organic matter, and the significant relationship between Ni-Fe reflected the adsorption of Ni onto Fe-Mn oxyhydroxides. A comparison of metal concentrations with data from other similar areas revealed that the river plume is somewhat contaminated with Cu, Pb and Zn which is in agreement with previous findings on anthropogenic origin of these metals in the Polish zone of southern Baltic Sea. [KEYWORDS: trace metals; bottom water; Vistula River plume; southern Baltic Sea; oxygen; POM North-sea; coastal waters; gdansk bay; surficial sediments; suspended matter; macoma-balthica; mytilus-edulis; field data; estuaries; manganese]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)967-980
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2001

ID: 189110