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Browsing by Subject "saastuminen"

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  • Huurtomaa, Satu (2019)
    The Baltic Sea is a vulnerable marine environment and susceptible to pollution. The situation is especially severe in the Gulf of Finland due to a large catchment area compared to the size of the Gulf. The north eastern Gulf of Finland has been described as one of the most contaminated areas of the entire Baltic Sea, with extensive pollution load via river Kymi in the past. Still today, the currents bring contaminants from the eastern part of the Gulf – the Neva estuary and the Bay of Viborg. The concentrations of V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Mo, Cd, Sb, Hg, Pb, Bi and La were studied in the surface sediments and three GEMAX cores. The vertical distribution revealed the temporal change in the metal accumulation. The spike in the Cs concentration, indicating the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, enabled the estimation of the accumulation of studied elements over time. The horizontal distribution maps based on the concentrations in the surface sediments enabled the discovery of the sites with most intense metal accumulation. Correlation coefficients showed the effect of carbon and sediment grain size in the distribution of metals. The comparison of the metal concentrations to the natural background levels and the Canadian sediment quality guidelines (SQGs) enabled the estimation of the degree of contamination of the area. The metal concentrations have declined during the last decades in the north eastern Gulf of Finland, indicating lower contamination input towards present day. However, in the oxidized Ravijoki core, the decline was not that obvious, probably due to metal scavenging by Fe and Mn oxides and bioturbation. The regional metal distribution was strongly affected by the grain size and carbon – most metals showed high positive correlations with carbon and finer sediment fraction. Mn was an exception, showing negative correlations with both carbon and clay, probably due to the Mn reduction at sites with high organic matter accumulation. The regional distribution pattern suggested main Cd pollution arriving from the eastern part of the Gulf. The distribution of Hg, Mo, Cu and Zn also suggested a possible source in the east. High concentrations of Hg, Pb and Cu were discovered in the outlets of river Kymi. According to the Canadian SQGs, the sediments in the north-eastern Gulf of Finland were contaminated. The situation is especially severe in the case of Zn – the higher reference value PEL, above which adverse biological effects frequently occur, was exceeded even in the oxidized Ravijoki sediments. The highest concentrations of the elements with defined SQGs (Cd, Cr, Zn, Cu, Hg, Pb and As) exceeded the lower reference values in the surface sediments, indicating that all these metals could, at least locally, pose a severe threat to benthic species.