Trace Elements in Water and Suspended Matter in the Open Part of the White Sea

Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 81)


The data on trace elements in dissolved and particulate forms (Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, Ni) in the open waters of the White Sea are presented. The samples of water and suspended particulate matter (SPM) were obtained in the expeditions of R/V “Prof. Shtokman”, R/V “Acad. Mstislav Keldysh”, and R/V “Ecolog” in summer time of 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010. The concentrations of dissolved forms of these metals have appeared to be higher than in near-bottom waters of the Barents Sea and much higher than in the ocean waters. In surface waters of the sea, the concentrations decrease, as a rule, in direction from coasts to central sea part. No trends were found in the water column: concentrations demonstrated smooth variations in a range of factor 2–3. In general we conclude that the regular interrelations between dissolved trace elements and biogenic elements and basic hydrochemical parameters which are typical for the open ocean are absent in the shallow White Sea with active hydrological regime.

The concentration of SPM in sea water is in average near 1 mg/L. Among the major elements, especially organic carbon (14.1%) and P (0.28%) are very high. The important interannual variations in river discharge (e.g., water discharge of the Severnaya Dvina in 2005 was 41.67 km3 while in 2006 73.01 km3 and at the average multiannual value 108.15 km3) result in significant variations of SPM in the sea from year to year. This leads to significant variations in SPM chemical composition also.

The results presented show that the intercontinental White Sea takes its own position from a point of view of trace element composition in dissolved and particulate forms between river input and the open seas (like the Barents Sea) and the open ocean.


Dissolved and suspended particulate matter Interannual variations of concentrations Trace elements White Sea 



This research was performed in the framework of the state assignment of FASO Russia (theme No. 0149-2018-0016), and analytical data were processed within framework of the RSF grant (project No 14-27-00114-p).


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shirshov Institute of OceanologyRussian Academy of Sciences (IO RAS)MoscowRussia

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