Mercury Distribution in Bottom Sediments of the White Sea and the Rivers of Its Basin

Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 82)


Interest in the study of subarctic areas of the Earth increases year by year, due to the accelerating pace of development of high latitudes and increasing anthropogenic pressure. In parallel with these processes, there is a growing need to study the behavior of substances of the first class of danger in the natural objects of the region. This article summarizes and analyzes data on Hg content in bottom sediments of the White Sea and rivers of its basin. The influence of the river flow of the Northern Dvina, Kyanda, and Kem Rivers on the formation of Hg concentrations in the bottom sediments of the White Sea, Dvinsky, and Onega bays has been studied.

The spatial distribution of Hg in the bottom sediments was investigated; the levels of Hg accumulation in areas affected by anthropogenic activity were shown. Bottom sediments of the White Sea and estuaries of its basin have been zoned by levels of Hg content. For the Northern Dvina River, the amount of methyl-Hg formed in the bottom sediments was calculated based on the data of field studies, physicochemical and mineralogical properties of the bottom sediments, and their pollution level.

The river-sea sections were studied, and action of marginal filters of the rivers of the White Sea basin has been shown. The background level of Hg content in bottom sediments was established. Comparative analysis of Hg content in bottom sediments of different water basins which are exposed to different anthropogenic influence has been carried out.


Bottom sediments Mercury Spatial distribution The White Sea basin 



This research was supported by grants of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation “The Base Part of State Assignment” No 5.5795.2017/8.9 and No 5.5791.2017/6.7.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Southern Federal UniversityRostov-on-DonRussia
  2. 2.Shirshov Institute of Oceanology Russian Academy of Sciences (IO RAS)MoscowRussia

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