Pollution of the sediments of the coastal zone of the Sambia Peninsula and the Curonian Spit (Southeastern Baltic Sea)

PeerJ. 2018 May 16;6:e4770. doi: 10.7717/peerj.4770. eCollection 2018.


The detailed environmental survey of the coastal zone of the Kaliningrad Region northern coast was carried out. The pollutants distribution in the silty clay fraction and calculation of ecological indexes allowed the evaluation of distribution of potentially harmful elements (PHEs). The sources of pollution in the most intensively used areas were identified, and transit and accumulation zones were allocated. A large area of anomalous content of PHEs was revealed on the underwater coastal slope of the Curonian Spit National Park, which is situated far from the sources of pollution. The alongshore bed load transport provides the contamination of the underwater slope whereas the beaches are less exposed to pollution.

Keywords: Baltic Sea; Coastal zone; Heavy metals; Pollution indexes; Sediments.

Grant support

The results in the Results section were obtained in the framework of the state assignment of FASO Russia (theme No. 0149-2018-0012 “Marine systems of the Baltic Sea and the Atlantic Ocean: formation of natural complexes of the Baltic Sea and their modification under the influence of the Atlantic Ocean and anthropogenic impact”). The results in the Discussions section were obtained within the RFBR grant (project No. 17-305-50014). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.