Estimation of the sedimentation and mass accumulation rates in the aquatoria of “Cape Martyan” (the Black Sea, the Crimea) using dating of bottom sediments of Lake Krasnoe (the Crimea Perekopskaya Group)

N.Yu. Mirzoyeva1, 2

 1FSBIS «Institute of Marine Biological Research named after A.O. Kovalevsky RAS» (IMBR), Russian Federation, Sevastopol, Nakhimova Avenue, 2

2 FSBIS “Nikita Botanical Garden of Order of the Red Banner of Labor  – National Science Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences” (NBG-NSC), RF, Yalta, Nikita village, Nikitsky Botanical Garden


DOI: 10.33075/2220-5861-2018-4-75-82

UDC 550.47:628.19(262.5)


 “Cape Martyan” is a protected water area of ​​ Crimea, but there are real environmental risks of its pollution. This is due to significant anthropogenic pressure on the territory adjacent to this natural park, with a small size of its marine part. The main negative anthropogenic impacts on the state of the natural complex are known to be rapid housing development of the adjacent coastal zone, littering, transport infrastructure development, discharge of untreated or poorly treated sewage into the water area as well as considerable recreational load in the summer period.

      It is known that elimination of pollutants of various kinds from the aquatic environment is provided by sedimentation processes of their deposition in the thickness of bottom sediments in the composition of biogenic and terrigenous suspended matter.

      The aim of this study was to determine the sedimentation and mass accumulation rates in the Black Sea water area, which is in close proximity to the marine part of the protected area of “Cape Martyan”, based on estimating the age of the bottom sediments using the 137Cs artificial radionuclide as a tracer.

      The possibility of application of the layer from a column of bottom sediments, corresponding to 2014 year as a reference point for geochronological studies of inland water reservoirs of Crimea and shelf areas of the Black Sea along Crimean coast was evidentiary justified on the example of dating of the bottom sediments of Lake Krasnoe (Crimea, Perekopskaya Group) with using 137Cs as a radio tracer. This justification is relevant for cases when the depth of the selected bottom sediment cores is insufficient to identify the “accident” and “bombing” peaks of the concentrations of artificial radionuclides (for example, as in the sediment column taken in the adjacent area to the “Cape Martyan” water area). With using this new reference point and 137Cs as a radio tracer for geochronological studies, dating of the columns of bottom sediments collected in the Black Sea offshore of the adjacent to the protected area of “Cape Martyan”was made. It was determined, that average rate of mass accumulation in the area of “Cape Martyan” is 6.7 mm/year, the sedimentation rate is 3343.8 g•m-2•year-1. The practical significance of the studies performed is that the calculated sedimentation rates, as factors of self-purification of the water column of the marine ecosystem, allow us to determine the incoming fluxes and the rate of deposition of both radioactive and conservative chemical pollutants into the bottom sediments of the Cape Martyan and adjacent areas of the Black Sea.

     Comparison of the chronological dating and sedimentation rate with the concentration of pollutants of various nature in the thickness of bottom sediments will restore the entire history of contamination of the Black Sea ecosystem under study, reveal the regularities of the reaction of the marine ecosystem of the “Cape Martyan” on different technogenic accidents, will help to predict the environmental consequences in case of possible accident situations.

      The results of the studies, both for the Lake Krasnoe and the water area close to the protected area “Cape Martyan” have been obtained and published for the first time.

Keywords:  the Black Sea, Protected area «Cape Martyan», Lake Krasnoe (the Crimea), bottom sediments, geochronology, 137Cs, mass accumulation rate, sedimentation rate.

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