Geochemical characterization and environmental status of Makirina Bay sediments (northern Dalmatia, Republic of Croatia)

Main Article Content

Darja Komar
Matej Dolenec
Živana Lambaša Belak
Sanja Slavica Matešić
Sonja Lojen
Goran Kniewald
Petra Vrhovnik
Tadej Dolenec
Nastja Rogan Šmuc


This research focuses on determination of the mineralogical composition, geochemical characteristics and evaluationof pollution status of the Makirina Bay sediments. Calculated enrichment factor (EF) values show no enrichment (< 1) for Cd, Ni, and Zn, minor enrichment (< 3) for As, Cu, and Pb, and minor to moderate enrichment for Mo. The resultsof the sequential leaching procedure for the aforementioned potentially toxic elements (PTE) indicates that the mobilityand bioavailability characteristics of the PTE studied declined in the following order: Mo > Cd > Pb > Ni > Zn > Cu > As. Principal component analysis (PCA) and correlation analysis confirmed the PTE distribution depends mainly on thegeogenic mineral components and anthropogenic activities in the areas surrounding the bay. Calculated transfer factor(TF) values from sediment to seagrass Cymodocea nodosa (C. nodosa) were < 1, showing that despite the results of thesequential extraction procedure, PTE transfer from sediment to roots was not effective.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

Original Scientific Papers


ADRIANO, D.C. (2001): Trace elements in terrestrial environments: biogeochemistry, bioavailability, and risks of metals, second edition. Springer Verlag, New York, 871 p.

AHMED, F., HAWA BIBI, M., SETO, K., ISHIGA, H., FUKUSHIMA, T. & ROSER B.P. (2010): Abundances, distribution, and sources of trace metals in Nakaumi-Honjo coastal lagoon sediments, Japan. – Environ. Monit. Assess., 167, 473–491.

AITCHISON, J. (1981): A new approach to null correlations of proportions. – J. Int. Ass. Math. Geol., 13, 175–189.
AITCHISON, J. (1986). Statistical analysis of compositional data. Chapman & Hall, New York, 416 p.

BEN-YAAKOV, S.. (1973): pH buffering of pore water of recent anoxic marine sediments. – Limnol. Oceanogr., 18/1, 86-94.

BLOTT, S.J. & PYE, K. (2001): GRADISTAT: a grain size distribution and statistics package for the analysis of unconsolidated sediments. – Earth Surf. Proc. Land., 26, 1237–1248.

BLOTT, S. J. & PYE, K. (2012): Particle size scales and classification of sediment types based on particle size distributions: Review and recommended procedures. – Sedimentology, 59, 2071-2096.

BILLON, G., OUDDANE, B., RECOURT, P. & BOUGHRIET, A. (2002): Depth Variability and some Geochemical Characteristics of Fe, Mn, Ca, Mg, Sr, S, P, Cd and Zn in Anoxic Sediments from Authie Bay (Northern France). – Estuar. Coast. Shelf S., 55, 167-181.

BIRTH, G.A. (2003): A scheme for assessing human impacts on coastal aquatic environments using sediments. In: WOODCOFFE, C.D. & FURNESS, R.A. (Eds.): Coastal GIS 2003, University of Wollongong, Australia.

BURTON, E.D., PHILLIPS, I.R. & HAWKER, D.W. (2005): Geochemical partitioning of copper, lead and zinc in benthic, estuarine sediment profiles. – J. Environ. Qual., 34 (1), 263–273.

CHEN, C.W., KAO, C.M., CHEN, C.F. & DONG, C.D. (2007): Distribution and accumulation of heavy metals in the sediments of Kaohsiung Harbor, Taiwan. – Chemosphere, 66, 1431–1440.

CRUSIUS, J., CALVERT, S., PEDERSEN, T. & SAGE, D. (1996): Rhenium and molybdenum enrichments in sediments as indicators of oxic, suboxic and sulfidic conditions of deposition. – Earth Planet. Sc. Lett., 145, 65–78.

DEAN, J.R. (2007): Bioavailability, bioaccessibility and mobility of environmental contaminants. Wiley, London, 316 p.

DOLENEC, M., LOJEN, S., OGRINC, N. & LAMBAŠA, Ž. (2002): Environmentally controlled variations of δ18O and δ13C in mollusc shells from Makirina Bay, the Murter Sea and Pirovac Bay (Central Adriatic). – RMZ-M&G, 49 (1), 85–99.

DOLENEC, T., FAGANELI, J. & PIRC, S. (1998): Major, minor and trace elements in surficial sediments from the open Adriatic Sea: A Regional Geochemical Study. – Geol. Croat., 51 (1), 59–73.

EBRAHIMPOUR, M. & MUSHRIFAH, I. (2008): Heavy metal concentrations in water and sediments in Tasik Chini, a freshwater lake, Malaysia. – Environ. Monit. Assess., 141, 297–307.

FILGUEIRAS, A.V., LAVILLA, I. & BENDICHO, C. (2002): Chemical sequential extraction for metal partitioning in environmental solid samples. – J. Environ. Monitor., 4, 823–857.

FORGHANI, G., MOORE, F., LEE, S. & QISHLAQI, A. (2009): Geochemistry and speciation of metals in sediments of the Maharlu Saline Lake. – Environ. Earth Sci., 59, 173–184.

GAO, X., CHEN, C.A., WANG, G., XUE, Q., TANG, C. & CHEN, S. (2010): Environmental status of Daya Bay surface sediments inferred from a sequential extraction technique. – Estuar. Coast. Shelf S., 86, 369-378.

GHREFAT, H. & YUSUF, N. (2006): Assessing Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, and Cd pollution in bottom sediments of Wadi Al-Arab Dam, Jordan. – Chemosphere, 65, 2114–2121.

GHREFAT, H.A., ABU-RUKAH, Y. & ROSEN, M.A. (2011): Application of geoaccumulation index and enrichment factor for assessing metal contamination in the sediments of Kafrain Dam, Jordan. Environ. Monit. Assess., 178, 95–109.

JONES, B. & TURKI A. (1997): Distribution and speciation of heavy metals in surficial sediments from the Tees Estuary, north-east England. – Mar. Pollut. Bull., 34 (10), 768–779.

KALFAKAKOU, V. & AKRIDA-DEMERTZI, K. (2000): Transfer factors of heavy metals in aquatic organisms of different trophic levels. – HTML publication, 1, URL: (8.10.2013), 768–786.

KIRATLI, N. & ERGIN, M. (1996): Partitioning of heavy metals in surface Black Sea sediments. – Appl. Geochem., 11, 775–788.

LEGELEUX, F., REYSS, J.L., BONTE, P. & ORGANO, C. (1994): Concomitant enrichments of uranium, molybdenum and arsenic in suboxic continental margin sediments. – Oceanol. Acta, 17 (4), 417–429.

LI, Q., WU, Z., CHU, B., ZHANG, N., CAI, S. & FANG, J. (2007): Heavy metals in coastal wetland sediments of the Pearl River Estuary, China. – Environ. Pollut., 149, 158–164.

LI, X., SHEN, Z., WAI, O.W.H. & LI, Y. (2000): Chemical partitioning of heavy metal contaminants in sediments of the Pearl River Estuary. – Chem. Spec. Bioavailab., 12 (1), 17–25.

LI, X., SHEN, Z., WAI, O.W.H. & LI, Y. (2001): Chemical Forms of Pb, Zn and Cu in the Sediment Profiles of the Pearl River Estuary. – Mar. Pollut. Bull., 42/3, 215-232.

LIU, B., HU, K., JIANG, Z., YANG, J., LUO, X. & LIU, A. (2011): Distribution and enrichment of heavy metals in a sediment core from the Pearl River Estuary. – Environ. Earth Sci., 62, 265–275.

LIU, H.C., YOU, C.F., HUANG, B.J. & HUH, C.A. (2013): Distribution and accumulation of heavy metals in carbonate and reducible fractions of marine sediment from offshore mid-western Taiwan. – Mar. Pollut. Bull., 73, 37–46.

LOJEN, S., OGRINC, N., DOLENEC, T., VOKAL, B., SZARAN, J., MIHELČIĆ, G. & BRANICA, M. (2004): Nutrient fluxes and sulfur cycling in the organic-rich sediment of Makirina Bay (Central Dalmatia, Croatia). – Sci. Total Environ., 327, 265–284.

MIKO, S., KOCH, G., MESIĆ, S., ŠPARICA-MIKO, M., ŠPARICA, M., VREČA, P. & DOLENEC, T. (2007): Influence of land use in small karst watersheds on the chemical status of peloid sediments on the eastern Adriatic coast. – J. Soil. Sediment., 7(5), 303–312.

MIKO, S., KOCH, G., MESIČ, S., ŠPARICA-MIKO, M., ŠPARICA, M., ČEPELAK, R., BAČANI, A., VREČA, P., DOLENEC, T. & BERGANT, S. (2008): Anthropogenic influence on trace element geochemistry of healing mud (peloid) from Makirina Cove (Croatia). – Environ. Geol., 55, 517–537.

MONTEIRO, F.F., CORDEIRO, R.C., SANTELLI, R.E., MACHADO, W., EVANGELISTA, H., VILLAR, L.S., VIANA, L.C.A. & BIDONE, E.D. (2012): Sedimentary geochemical record of historical anthropogenic activities affecting Guanabara Bay (Brazil) environmental quality. – Environ. Earth Sci., 65, 1661–1669.

MORILLO, J., USERO, J. & GRACIA, I. (2004): Heavy metal distribution in marine sediments from the southwest coast of Spain. – Chemosphere, 55, 431–442.

NGIAM, L.S. & LIM, P.E. (2001): Speciation patterns of heavy metals in tropical estuarine anoxic and oxidized sediments by different sequential extraction schemes. – Sci. Total Environ., 275, 53–61.

ÖZTÜRK, M., ÖZÖZEN, G., MINARECI, O. & MINARECI, E. (2009): Determination of heavy metals in fish, water and sediments of Avsar Dam lake in Turkey, Iran. – J. Environ. Health Sci. Eng., 6 (2), 73–80.

PEREIRA MAJER, A., VARELLA PETTI, M.A., NAVAJAS CORBISIER, T., PORTELLA RIBEIRO, A., SAWAMURA THEOPHILO, C.Y., ALVES DE LIMA FERREIRA, P. & LOPES FIGUEIRA, R.C. (2014): Bioaccumulation of potentially toxic trace elements in benthic organisms of Admiralty Bay (King George Island, Antarctica). – Mar. Pollut. Bull., 79, 321–325.

PRICE, R.E. & PICHLER, T. (2005): Distribution, speciation and bioavailability of arsenic in a shallow-water submarine hydrothermal system, Tutum Bay, Ambitle Island, PNG. – Chem. Geol., 224, 122–135.

PLANT, J.A., KINNIBURGH, D.G., SMEDLEY, P.L., FORDYCE, F.M. & KLINCK, B.A. (2003): Arsenic and selenium. In: SHERWOOD LOLLAR, B., HOLLAND, H.D. & TUREKIAN, K.K. (Eds.): Environmental Geochemistry, Elsevier Ltd., Amsterdam, 17-65.

PURUSHOTHAMAN, P., MISHRA, S., DAS, A. & CHAKRAPANI, G.J. (2012): Sediment and hydro biogeochemistry of Lake Nainital, Kumaun Himalaya, India. – Environ. Earth Sci., 65, 775–788.

QIU, Y.W., YU, K.F., ZHANG, G. & WANG, W.X. (2011): Accumulation and partitioning of seven trace metals in mangroves and sediment cores from three estuarine wetlands of Hainan Island, China. – J. Hazard. Mater., 190, 631–638.

RAO, C.R.M., SAHUQUILLO, A. & LOPEZ SANCHES, J.F. (2008): A review of the different methods applied in environmental geochemistry for single and sequential extraction of trace elements in soil and related materials. – Water Air Soil Poll., 189, 291–333.

REIMANN, C. & DE CARITAT, P. (1998): Chemical elements in the environment, Factsheets for the geochemist and environmental scientist. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 398 p.

RIBA, I., DELVALLS, T.A., FORJA, J.M. & GÓMEZ-PARRA, A. (2002): Influence of the Aznalcóllar mining spill on the vertical distribution of heavy metals in sediments from the Guadalquivir estuary (SW Spain). – Mar. Pollut. Bull., 44, 39–47.
SAHUQUILLO, A., RIGOL, A. & RAURET, G. (2003): Overview of the use of leaching/extraction tests for risk assessment of trace metals in contaminated soils and sediments. – Trend. Anal. Chem., 22 (3), 152–159.

SAKAN, S.M., ĐORĐEVIĆ, D.S. & TRIFUNOVIĆ, S.S. (2011): Geochemical and statistical methods in the evaluation of trace elements contamination: an application on canal sediments. – Pol. J. Environ. Stud., 20 (1), 187–199.

SATPATHY, K.K., MOHANTY, A.K.., PRASAD, M.V.R, NATESAN, U. & SARKAR, S.K. (2012): Studies on the variations of heavy metals in the marine sediments off Kalpakkam, east coast of India. – Environ. Earth Sci., 65, 89–101.

SUNDARARAJAN, M. & NATESAN, U. (2010): Geochemistry of elements in core sediments near Point Claimere, the southeast coast of India. – Int. J. Environ. Res., 4 (3), 379–394.

ŠPARICA, M., CRNKO, J. & BELAK, M. (1989): Peloid uvale Makirina (Pirovački zaljev), Elaborat, Br. 28/89. Institut za geološka istraživanja, OOUR za geologijo, Zagreb.

ŠPARICA, M., KOCH, G., BELAK, M., MIKO, S., ŠPARICA-MIKO, M., VILIČIĆ, D., DOLENEC, T., BERGANT, S., LOJEN, S., VREČA, P., DOLENEC, M., OGRINC, N. & IBRAHIMPAŠIĆ, H. (2005): Recent sediments of Makirina Cove (Northern Dalmatia, Croatia): their origin viewed through a multidisciplinary approach. – Geol. Croat., 58 (1), 21–72.

TESSIER, A., CAMPBELL, P.G.C. & BISSON, M. (1979): Sequential extraction procedure for the speciation of particulate trace metals. – Anal. Chem., 51 (7), 844–851.
VAROL, M. (2011): Assessment of heavy metal contamination in sediments of the Tigris River (Turkey) using pollution indices and multivariate statistical techniques. – J. Hazard. Mater., 195, 355–364.

VERBOVŠEK, T. (2011): A comparison of parameters below the limit of detection in geochemical analyses by substitution methods. – RMZ-M&G, 58 (4), 393–404.

VREČA, P. (1998): Izotopske in geokemične značilnosti recentnega sedimenta iz zaliva Makirina, otok Murter (srednji jadran) [Isotopic and geochemical characteristics of the recent sediment of Makirina Bay (Central Adriatic) – in Slovenian with an English abstract]. – Unpubl. MSc Thesis. University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering, Department of Geology, Ljubljana, 84 p.

VREČA, P. & DOLENEC T. (2005): Geochemical estimation of copper contamination in the healing mud from Makirina Bay, central Adriatic. – Environ. Int., 31, 53–61.

WANG, S., JIA, Y., WANG, S., WANG, X., WANG, H., ZHAO, Z. & LIU, B. (2010): Fractionation of heavy metals in shallow marine sediments from Jinzhou Bay, China. – J. Environ. Sci., 22 (1) 23–31.
WEDEPOHL, K.H. (1978): Handbook of geochemistry: elements Si (14) to V (23), Vol. II/2. Springer, Berlin.
YAN, C., LI, Q., ZHANG, X. & LI, G. (2010): Mobility and ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in surface sediments of Xiamen Bay and its adjacent areas, China. – Environ. Earth Sci., 60, 1469–1479.

YU, C., XU, S., GANG, M., ZHOU, L. & CHEN, G. (2011): Molybdenum pollution and speciation in Nver River sediments impacted with Mo mining activities in western Liaoning, northeast China. – Int. J. Environ. Res, 5 (1), 205–212.

YU, K.C., TSAI, L.J., CHEN, S.H. & HO, S.T. (2001): Chemical binding of heavy metals in anoxic river sediments. – Water Res., 35 (17), 4086–4094.

YUAN, C., SHI, J., HE, B., LIU, J., LIANG, L. & JIANG, G. (2004): Speciation of heavy metals in marine sediments from the East China Sea by ICP-MS with sequential extraction. – Environ. Int., 30, 769–783.

ZHANG, J. & LIU, C.L. (2002): Riverine composition and estuarine geochemistry of particulate metals in china – weathering features, anthropogenic impact and chemical fluxes. – Estuar., Coast. Shelf S., 54, 1051–1070.

ZHANG, W., LIU, X., CHENG, H., ZENG, E.Y. & HU, Y. (2012): Heavy metal pollution in sediments of a typical mariculture zone in South China. – Mar. Pollut. Bull., 64, 712–720.

ZIMMER, W. & MENDEL, R. (1999): Molybdenum metabolism in plants. – Plant Biol., 1, 160–168.

ŽVAB ROŽIČ, P., DOLENEC, T., BAŽDARIĆ, B., KARAMARKO, V., KNIEWALD, G. & DOLENEC, M. (2012): Major, minor and trace element content derived from aquacultural activity of marine sediments (Central Adriatic, Croatia). – Environ. Sci. Pollut. R., 19, 2708–2721.