The geochemical profile of bottom sediments in the Domiaza (Oder river estuary, northwest Poland)
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The Domiaza is a fragment of the Oder river estuary situated north of Szczecin. This area is exposed to complex hydrological processes and strong anthropogenic pressure. Key physical and chemical parameters of the Domiaza sediments (fraction < 2mm), e.g., dry residue (Ds), ignition loss (Iz), CaCO3 and organic carbon content, show high coefficients of variation (over 60%). Similar variation is typical of the heavy metal concentrations (Cu, Zn, Pb, Co, Cd and Hg) and the organic carbon content in the fraction smaller than 0.20 mm. The spatial distribution of the examined parameters in the Domiaza sediments results from the dynamics of this environment, especially the heavy watercraft traffic and the continuous dredging of the Szczecin-Swinoujscie water lane. Concentrations of Cd, Cu, Zn, Pb and Co found in the Domiaza sediments are higher than those found in the geochemical background of Poland, while concentrations of mercury are comparable. Moreover, the concentrations of Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd found in the Domiaza sediments are higher than the average concentrations of these metals in adjacent areas (Oder River, Dabie Lake, Szczecin Lagoon), but the concentrations of Hg and Co are comparable or lower depending on the area of reference. A survey of heavy metals concentrations conducted in 1999 detected higher than average concentrations of Cu, Zn, Pb, and particularly Co (twice) and Hg (over thirty times), and lower concentrations of Cd in comparison with the average levels of 1996. The reason for these differences was the selective inflow of heavy metals to the Domiaza area after the disastrous flood of 1997.
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S. Piotrowski, Institute of Marine Sciences, University of Szczecin, Felczaka 3a, 71-472 Szczecin, Poland