Physical Oceanography, Vol. 19, No. 4, 2009
EXPERIMENTAL AND FIELD RESEARCH
ARSENIC AND HEAVY METALS IN THE BOTTOM SEDIMENTS
OF THE BALAKLAVA BAY (BLACK SEA)
E. I. Ovsyany,
E. A. Kotelyanets,
and N. A. Orekhova
We present the results of investigation of the contents of metals
(As, Cr, Co, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn, V,
Sr, Mn, Ti, and Fe)
in the bottom sediments of the Balaklava Bay (Black Sea) carried out in July
2005. It is shown that the pollution of the bottom sediments with metals has a polyelemental
character. We establish the specific features of changes in the contents of the analyzed elements
and localize the sources of their appearance in the ecosystem. On the basis of the results of eval-
uation of the intensity of technogenic action upon the marine medium, we determine a group of
(As, Cr, Cu, Pb, and Zn)
accumulated in the bottom sediments of the bay in
amounts significantly exceeding the background values typical of sediments of the Black Sea
shelf. The comparative analysis of the degrees of pollution of the bay and some other coastal
water areas with metals is performed.
The accumulation of toxic metals in bottom sediments is realized as a result of the gravitational sedimenta-
tion of suspended substances, sorption processes on the water–sediment interface, and biogenic sedimentation.
Thus, bottom sediments reflect, in a certain sense, the processes running in the water column. The bottom sedi-
ments also serve as the habitat of benthic organisms, the state of development of which characterizes the aquatic
By analyzing the contents of metals in the bottom sediments of various parts of the water area, one can esti-
mate the level of pollution, determine the regions with different levels of anthropogenic loading, and establish
the characteristic features of toxic metals depending on the natural geochemical processes and anthropogenic in-
Among the semiclosed water areas of the Sevastopol region, the Balaklava Bay occupies a special place due
to its geographic location, morphometry, landscape and geochemical characteristics, and the character of nature
management. The bay is located in the south part of the Crimean Peninsula between Cape Fiolent and Cape
Aiya. This is a narrow (up to
estuary-type basin oriented in the meridional direction with high steep in-
in length and
in depth. The area of the water surface is equal to
volume of water masses accumulated in the bay is
. Its mean depth is equal to
to the bottom morphometry and configuration of the coasts, the water area of the bay can be split into the shal-
low-water part at the head of the bay, the central part, the south deep-water expansion, and the elbowed narrow-
ness connecting the last two parts [1, 2]. The head of the bay is supplied by the seasonal water flow of the Ba-
In the dry season of the year, its discharge is equal to
yr (according to the data ob-
tained by Terekhin in 1991; cited according to ).
Marine Hydrophysical Institute, Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Sevastopol, Ukraine.
Black Sea branch of the Lomonosov Moscow State University in Sevastopol, Sevastopol, Ukraine.
Translated from Morskoi Gidrofizicheskii Zhurnal, No.
67–80, July–August, 2009. Original article submitted December 7, 2007;
revision submitted May 15, 2008.
254 0928-5105/09/1904–0254 © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.