The oxygen consumption of a sandy beach on the Gulf of Gdansk (southern Baltic Sea) was determined. The study was carried out in three sediment layers (0-1, 1-6, 6-11cm) at four localities on the beach profile. Total oxygen consumption lay between 0.59 and 4.33 mm3 O2 cm-3 h-1. A significant linear correlation was found between sediment depth and total oxygen consumption in the littoral zone (r = 0.85) and in the splash zone (r = -0.71). The highest biotic oxidation was recorded in the upper sediment layers in the splash zone (0-1 cm: 1.57 mm3 O2 cm-3 h-1) and at the waterline (1-6 cm: 1.87 mm3 O2 cm-3 h-1). Meiofaunal respiration constituted 0.1- 3.0% of the biotic oxygen consumption. Abiotic oxygen consumption ranged between 0.07 and 3.43 mm3 O2 cm-3 h-1 and was the dominant component of total oxidation in deeper layers.