Baltic Coastal Zone

Journal of Ecology and Management of the Coastline

Vol. 17 pp. 53 - 69 2013

ISBN 1643-0115

©Copyright by Institute of Biology and Environmental Protection of the Pomeranian University in Słupsk

Original research paper

Received:

Accepted:

15 September 2013

17 November 2013

 

BIOGEOCHEMISTRY OF URANIUM IN THE SOUTHERN BALTIC ECOSYSTEM 

Alicja Boryło* & Bogdan Skwarzec

Department of Analytical and Environment Radiochemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Gdańsk, Wita Stwosza 63, 80-308 Gdańsk, Poland, e-mail:alicja.borylo@ug.edu.pl (*corresponding author)

 

Abstract

The determination of uranium isotopes in different components of the Southern Baltic (sediments, soil, birds, river) is presented and discussed in this paper. The Baltic Sea is one of the most polluted water regions in the world. On the basis of the studies was found that the most important process of uranium geochemical migration in the Southern Baltic Sea ecosystem is the sedimentation of suspended material and the vertical diffusion from sediments into the bottom water. Considerable amounts of uranium isotopes are introduced into the Baltic waters together with annual inflows of saline and well-aerated waters from the North Sea. Also very high uranium concentrations are the result of weathering and erosional processes of the rocks (e.g. Sudetic rocks) which contain elevated natural concentrations of this radionuclide. Considerable amounts of uranium isotopes are introduced into the Baltic waters together with annual inflows from the Vistula and Oder rivers, also from saline and well-aerated waters from the North Sea. The results of many our studies confirm the significant role of human activities and phosphogypsum stockpile in Wiślinka as a source of these isotopes in southern Baltic.

Key words: uranium isotopes, the Southern Baltic, sediments, surface and bottom water, Baltic organisms, marine birds, phosphogypsum stockpile