Trace Metals in a Landlocked Intermittently Anoxic Basin

  • Michael J. Scoullos
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 9)


Dissolved and particulate trace metals were studied in seawater samples collected regularly from all depths of the almost totally enclosed Gulf of Elefsis (in the northern corner of the Saronikos Gulf, near Athens) polluted by significant amounts of metals through industrial discharges, sewage and ships. The highest metal levels — several times higher than those of the Aegean Sea and similar to those found in known polluted regions elsewhere — were found repeatedly at the N. and N.E. sections of the Gulf due mainly to direct inputs and runoff.

As a result of its hydrography and the prevailing climatological and meteorological conditions, the Gulf is highly stratified during the summer. In August in particular, no oxygen is present at the lower stratum of the water column and the sediments of the deepest section of the Gulf. It is noteworthy that even within the short summer period and the relatively restricted area where the anoxic conditions prevail, several interesting phenomena take place involving decrease of the concentration of the soluble species of certain metals in favour of their particulate forms (for Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd); removal by precipitation of most of them; dissolution and reprecipitation of other metals (Fe, Mn) either in the anoxic zone or at the oxic-anoxic interface. A mobilization of Fe from the surface (top 5–10 cm) of the poorly compacted sea bottom sediment column, into the seawater (in spite of a general inverse tendency for the rest, oxic part of the Gulf) was observed.


Trace Metal Humic Acid Sewage Outfall Trace Metal Level Anoxic Layer 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. Scoullos
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry LabsUniversity of AthensAthens 144Greece

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