Influence of amber mining on the concentration and chemical composition of suspended sedimentary matter (Sambian Peninsula, Southeast Baltic)

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  • This article was downloaded by: [The Aga Khan University]On: 03 December 2014, At: 20:26Publisher: Taylor & FrancisInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registeredoffice: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

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    Influence of amber mining onthe concentration and chemicalcomposition of suspended sedimentarymatter (Sambian Peninsula, SoutheastBaltic)Vadim V. Sivkov a & Boris V. Chubarenko ba P. P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanog , Russian Academy ofSciences, Atlantic Branch , Prospect Mira 1, Kaliningrad, 236000,Russia E-mail:b P. P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology ,Atlantic Branch , RussianAcademy of Sciences , Kaliningrad, RussiaPublished online: 23 Dec 2008.

    To cite this article: Vadim V. Sivkov & Boris V. Chubarenko (1997) Influence of amber miningon the concentration and chemical composition of suspended sedimentary matter (SambianPeninsula, Southeast Baltic), Marine Georesources & Geotechnology, 15:2, 115-126, DOI:10.1080/10641199709379940

    To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10641199709379940

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  • Influence of Amber Mining on theConcentration and Chemical Composition of

    Suspended Sedimentary Matter (SambianPeninsula, Southeast Baltic)

    VADIM V. SIVKOVBORIS V. CHUBARENKOP. P. Shirshov Institute of OceanologyAtlantic BranchRussian Academy of SciencesKaliningrad, Russia

    The article is devoted to the problem of the dumping of suspended matter fromKaliningrad Amber Mining Plant to the Baltic Sea. Estimation of environmentallyharmful pulp discharge is based on the requirements of the Russian State Service forNature Protection (RSSNP) for maximum limited concentration of suspension insewage waters, using the formula Cmax = N(Ct Cb) + Cb, but taking into consid-eration the separate fractions in both surface and subsurface waters, where Ct is theconcentration at the test site, Cb is the background concentration at the point ofdischarge, and N is the total dilution factor between the two sites. Field study resultswere the input data for maximum limited and actual discharges' calculations andwere based on 71 samples that showed wide variances of suspension concentrationsfor the internal background site of from 5.8 to 62.6 mg/L, and for the externalbackground site of from 2.9 to 27.2 mg/L. The fluctuations are explained byvariation in wind velocities which strongly influence the swell in the coastal area,causing sediment resuspension. On the basis of the experimental data, it is possibleto plot an analytical relationship between values of N and wind velocities. Sampleswere analyzed for grain size and content of Fe, Mn, Cu, and Zn. It is concluded thatthe Kaliningrad Amber Mining Plant is the source of large amounts of dispersed fineterrigenous sediments and of occurrences of trace metals associated with them and,taking into account real conditions of wind velocities and flows in the coastal zoneof the sea, the study has resulted in a useful basis for more detailed investigations ofthe anthropogenic influence on the ecological system of the southeast Baltic.

    Keywords The Baltic Sea, environmentally harmful, maximum limited dis-charge, mining discharge, suspended matter

    Received 19 August 1996; accepted 17 January 1997.The authors are grateful to the Museum of the World Ocean (Kaliningrad), the Baltic

    Institute of Hydrosphere Ecology (Kaliningrad), and Sea Venture Bureau Ltd (Kaliningrad)for financial support. We would like to thank E. M. Emelyanov and V. L. Stryuk for goodscientific cooperation, and A. Kuleshov, A. Pustovoy, Ju. Zhurov, and A. Krylov for help infulfilling the field program. We thank H. Kunzendorf for valuable help in preparing the finalEnglish version of this article.

    Address correspondence to Vadim V. Sivkov, P. P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanog ofRussian Academy of Sciences, Atlantic Branch, Prospect Mira 1, 236000 Kaliningrad,Russia. E-mail: sivkov@geology.ioran.kern.ru

    115

    Marine Georesources and Geotechnology, 15: 115-126,1997Copyright 1997 Taylor & Francis

    1064-119X/97 $12.00 + .00

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  • 116 V. V. SivkovandB. V. Chubarenko

    Industrial amber mining began at the Sambian Peninsula coast, southeast BalticSea, in 1880. Stripping material and enclosing rocks were broken into the seaduring the last 100 years, and a wide beach was formed. During the period from1880 to 1973, the volume of material discharged by the Kaliningrad Amber MiningPlant into the Baltic Sea amounts to up to 100 million tons. The dumping ofmaterial into the beach zone is still going on. At present, the amber mining plant isone of the biggest sources in the world supplying anthropogenic suspended mate-rial. For instance, in 1993 about 2.5 millions tons of material were disposed of intothe sea.

    The current state of the problem concerning the estimation of damage toecology inflicted by the industrial amber extraction at the Sambian Peninsulacannot be estimated properly. The existing methods are sketchy, formal, and do notconsider the influence of a number of natural phenomena. In the present articlewe try to quantify the problem. We focus on the characteristics of the suspendedsedimentary matter due to the amber mining operations. The study includes fieldinvestigations in 1992 and 1993. Finally, we discuss some trace elements occurringin the suspended matter of the mine waste-disposal area.

    Estimation of Environmentally Harmful Pulp Discharge

    The most vivid impact exerted by the Kaliningrad Amber Mining Plant results inthe increase of turbidity of the sea water, caused by the discharge of the pulp. Toestimate and quantify the pollution, it is suggested that we apply a method thatallows us to calculate values of maximum limited discharge and actual discharge ofsuspensions. The method should take into account the depositing of certainfractions to the surface and subsurface parts of the coastal waters.

    Traditional Scheme for Maximum Limited Discharge

    According to the requirements of the Russian State Service for Nature Protection(RSSNP), the maximum limited concentration of suspension in sewage waters,Cmax, is calculated by the following formula:

    Cmix=N-(Cc-Cb) + Cb

    where C, is the concentration of suspension at the test site, Cb is the backgroundconcentration at the point of discharge, and N is the multiplicity of the totaldilution during the transfer of sewage waters to the test site or to the nearestboundary of human water consumption. The test site should be set at a distance of250 m from the point of discharge or on the boundary of human water consump-tion if it is located nearer. According to the requirements of the RSSNP, the value(C, - Cb) is equal to 0.25 mg/L for such categories of reservoirs as reservoirs forhuman recreation or fisheries.

    In the case of an underwater outlet, the value of N is usually calculated by arather complicated procedure (see Methods of calculation, 1990), but for thepresent situation, i.e., for direct dumping on the beach line, this approach gives nosatisfactory results.

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  • Influence of Amber Mining on Suspended Sediments 117

    Modification of the Traditional Scheme

    During the period of June-November 1993, we investigated the turbidity distribu-tions in the wave surf zone (up to 1.5 m depth and up to 2 km along the coastline)in the vicinity of the village of Yantarny (Figure 1). Seventy-one samples ofsuspensions were taken, processed, and analyzed. Eleven samples were also sub-jected to grain-size analysis.

    The results of the experimental measurements show that suspension concen-trations vary considerably, ranging from 5.8 to 62.6 mg/L for the internal back-ground site and from 2.9 to 27.2 mg/L for the external background site. Thesefluctuations are explained by the differing weather conditions, i.e., by varying windvelocities. The force of the wind influences the swell in the coastal area. The swellprovides a natural way for suspensions to enter the water through their resuspen-sion at the bottom of the coastal slope.

    Applying the method of group accounting of arguments (Ivachnenko & Yu-rachkovskiy, 1987) and using the acquired experimental data, we find the following:

    1. For the background value of suspension concentrations at the internal site,

    V < 2 m/sV 2 < V < 13 m/s

    V > 13 m/s

    2. For the background value of suspension concentrations at the external site,

    V < 2 m/sV 2 < V < 13 m/s

    V > 13 m/s

    where V is the wind velocity in meters per second. The suggested approximationsmay be revised when new experimental data are available. When the sewage watersare spread in the longshore direction, the suspension concentration decreases dueto dilution as well as due to sedimentation of certain parts of the suspensionfractions.

    A number of specialized experiments were carried out to study the changes insuspension concentrations during a longshore spreading of the plume of sewagewaters. The multiplicity of concentration changes (N) was calculated on the basisof the experimental data including the local background level of suspensionconcentrations,

    N(l)=CO) - Cb

    where N is the multiplicity of concentration changes in the plume of sewagewaters, Cs is the suspension concentration in sewage waters, Cb is the backgroundconcentration at the place and moment of discharge of sewage water, and C(/) isthe concentration at distance / from the point of discharge into the reservoir.

    We will consider the quantity of multiplicity of changes in suspension contentsN at a distance of 250 m from the point of discharge, because the test site islocated at this distance. N was found to range from 158 to 2,500, its values

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  • 00

    O

    o o ; o o

    o

    o

    ';.. Amber plant quartes

    yYANTARNY

    h1\

    -501

    1

    0

    YANTARNY

    - 2

    - 3

    - 4

    Figure 1. Area of investigations: 1, location of stations of R/V Shelf (1 October 1992); 2, depth line (m); 3, internal(inset) and external site; 4, villages.

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  • Influence of Amber Mining on Suspended Sediments 119

    decreasing in strong winds, and vice versa. This fact provides evidence that theintensive longshore stream developing in strong winds increases the dilutionprocess and also hampers sedimentation of suspensions in the longshore stream ofsewage waters. This in turn leads to the above-described result for the ratio N. Itmust be mentioned that a strong increase of the value N in calm weather, i.e.,when the suspension-bearing capacity of the stream is very low, points to aprevailing component of coarse (depositing) fractions in the composition of sewagewaters.

    On the basis of the experimental data, it is possible to plot an analyticalrelationship between values of quantity N and wind velocities V. When calculating,it is necessary to use N for the test site, i.e., a distance of 250 m from the dischargepoint.

    Based on correlation between N and the quantity of longshore wind velocity,the method of group accounting of arguments allowed us to plot the followingapproximation for iV250:

    [2,500 F 9 m / s

    The obtained relationship is based on experimental data only and may have tobe revised when new data are available.

    Actual Environmentally Harmful Pulp Discharge

    During dam construction at the beach quarry, pulp is discharged directly onto thedam. Then the sewage waters run down the dam into the sea. Thus, part of thesuspensions (particularly the coarse fractions) deposit on the dam, and this leads toa change in the grain-size composition of the initial pulp compared to thesuspended matter entering the sea.

    The results of the grain-size analysis are given in Table 1. They indicate that,depending on how fast the sewage waters move along the pipe, two oppositeprocesses occur:

    1. In one case, there is a considerable reduction of the sand fraction (particleswith > 0.1 mm diameter) and subsequently, the portion of fine silt and clayfractions (less than 0.05 mm) increases; i.e., sedimentation of coarse parti-cles takes place.

    2. In the other case, a higher velocity washes coarse particles away from thesurface waters of the dam and transports these particles into the sea.Occurrences of enhanced amounts of the sand fraction indicate this.

    When the pulp enters the sea, the speed of the flow lessens considerably, andsome parts of the transported suspension matter are lost. The particles depositonto the bottom of the coastal slope in the immediate vicinity of the point wherethe pulp is discharged into the sea. Data on the critical speed of the flow (the topspeed of the flow, at which suspended matter of the given size begins to settledown) for particles of various diameters, together with the time necessary for theirdepositing at a depth of 1 m, make it possible to evaluate the remaining composi-tion of the suspension in the longshore stream.

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  • 120 V. V. Sivkov andB. V. Chubarenko

    Table 1Grain sizes of suspended matter in pulp stream from pipeline exit to

    coastal water across the beach

    Date Locality of water sampling

    25.08.93 Beach, near pipeline exitBeach, sea bound...