Transitional Waters Bulletin

TWB, Transit. Waters Bull. 3(2007), 3-8
ISSN 1825-229X, DOI 10.1285/i1825229Xv1n3p3

Geochemical study of sediments from the Amvrakikos
Gulf lagoon complex, Greece
Aristomenis P. Karageorgis

Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Institute of Oceanography, 46.7 km Athens-Sounio
Avenue, Mavro Lithari, 19013 Anavyssos, Greece


1 - Grain-size parameters, organic carbon, major and minor elements were determined in a suite of
50 surface sediment samples obtained from the Amvrakikos Gulf lagoons Rodia, Tsoukalio,
Logarou, and Tsopeli
2 - The shallow lagoon-floor (max. 3.1 m) was covered mainly by muddy sediments
3 - Most major and minor elements were found to be related with terrigenous aluminosilicates.
Higher contents of S, Mo, Pb, organic C, and As were observed in Rodia lagoon, indicating
temporary anoxic conditions. High Cr and Zr contents exhibited similar behavior with Si and
were attributed to the presence of minerals chromite, zircon and quartz. Typical occurrences of
biogenic elements (Ca, Sr) were also recorded. Relatively high heavy metal contents for V, Cr,
Ni, and Zn were attributed to the natural weathering of metal-bearing ultra-basic rocks.
4 - The lagoon system is supplied by terrigenous material originating in the Rivers Arachthos and
Louros and also directly by the weathering of rock formations. Due to the anticlockwise water
circulation prevailing in Amvrakikos Gulf, particle-rich riverine waters from Arachthos entrain
Logarou, whilst Tsoukalio and Tsopeli are mostly influenced by the neighboring Louros R.

the NE sector of the Gulf and Louros, which
flows into the NW sector and passes around the
In the framework of the INTERREG Project eastern border of Tsopeli lagoon (Fig. 1).
TWReferenceNet, a geochemical investigation
of lagoon surface sediments was undertaken.
The scope of this work was: (a) to identify Material and methods
elemental variations between lagoons; (b) to Surface sediments were collected during a
understand sources and pathways of major and single visit in the study area (24-28 October
minor elements in the lagoons; (c) to study 2004). In total, 50 sediment samples were
depositional mechanisms and lagoon-sea collected (Fig. 1), using a Hydro-Bios Lenz
interactions and (d) to examine potential heavy bottom sampler.
metal enrichment. Grain-size measurements were undertaken using
The lagoon complex of Amvrakikos Gulf a Sedigraph 5100 system, after the separation of
comprises several lagoons, out of which four the sand fraction (>63 µm) by wet sieving.
have been selected for study, namely, Rodia, Total (not sieved) and unwashed samples were
Tsoukalio, Logarou, and Tsopeli (Fig. 1); analyzed for major (fused beads) and trace
maximum water depths recorded were 3.1, 1.7, elements (powder pellets) by X-ray fluorescence
1.6, and 1.4 m, respectively. Two major rivers in a Philips PW-2400 wavelength dispersive
influence the coastal environment of analyser, following the methods described by
Amvrakikos Gulf, Arachthos, which flows into Karageorgis et al. (2005). Element

© 2007 University of Salento - SIBA

© 2007 University of Salento . with the usually found in the coarser fractions of the exception of Rodia. However. with silt content ~60-70%. here the highest value sediment. Mg. with moderate percentages of sand isolated lagoon. which are values in all lagoons (Tab.05%) occurs in the central and eastern sector Results and discussions of the lagoon. following the procedures described by basis. probably minor elements against Al suggest their relation entrains the lagoons through the narrow and with terrigenous aluminosilicates. Ba. and silt. During Rodia lagoon (>80%). V. concentrations are expressed on a salt-free 1108. Amvrakikos lagoon sediments are generally This is not surprising. Ni. 1). Chromium and Cu are also positively correlated to Al. the water column was predominates in Logarou lagoon (>60%). such high levels generally muds. and communicates to Tsoukalio content (Tab. K. Fe. fine Major and minor elements interrelations suspended particulate matter of riverine origin Significant correlations of most major and (Arachthos and Louros Rivers). as Rodia is the most fine-grained. they originate in the weathering of adjacent rock formations. Sr. and clay. natural and artificial includes Ti. (1990). which would supply coarser. a group which relates to Organic carbon content exhibits relatively low autochthonous biogenic carbonates. connections of the lagoons to the open sea. sand.SIBA http://siba2. Organic carbon was determined by a Fisons (1994). P. In of organic carbon reveal that previously. Rb. Inversely correlated to Al are Organic carbon Ca. (9. whilst clay content the field measurements. This group man-controlled. sandy accumulation and preservation of organic matter sediments.TWB 3 (2007) Karageorgis A. 1). low the absence of any direct input of sediments into oxygen conditions have favored the the lagoons. Instruments CHN elemental analyser type EA- Figure 1.unile. found to be well oxygenated throughout the Surface sediments of Tsoukalio and Tsopeli are entire lagoon system. However. Co. Verardo et al. and Nieuwenhuize et al. Silt content predominates in through a narrow passage in the south. Zn. These observations reveal that Grain-size characteristics sediments have experienced anoxia or 4 . Surface sediment sampling stations location. predominate. muddy sediments normally in Rodia.

Chromium H 2 S. 422 ppm). than the average shale and 7 times higher than it receives terrigenous material from small the average shallow water sediment (Turekian branches of Louros River. transports suspended seem to be enriched in the sand fraction. However. As. mainly from leather 5 . thus elements of the group Amvrakikos Gulf. the of Logarou in also characterized by relatively predominant anticlockwise circulation in sandier sediments. Fig. organic matter degradation produces immobile in the marine environment. Pb. 1979).g. Nickel. from the Louros River branches. terrigenous particulates from Louros River. This sector sediment to Logarou is Arachthos River. Zr in sediments is found as mineral In areas where dissolved oxygen supply is zircon (ZrO2). large Rivers Arachthos and Louros. typical biogenic elements the upper catchment of Arachthos R. Probably its natural isolation Logarou high contents. Similarly. Fig. C. it is an element extremely limited. in ultra- exhibit similar spatial distribution patterns (e.unile. As. with Si and Zr. particularly those obtained from the tannery factories and fertilizers. it remains for Cr. complex.SIBA http://siba2. originating in the catchment area of the winter period. which is also Sr. basic ophiolite formations. quartz. This distribution sector of Logarou. Chromium contents are aluminosilicate-related element contents. i. and Spatial distribution of major and minor thus consuming rapidly all available dissolved elements oxygen and trigger anoxia. a common mineral in sediments. but is also abundant as pure similar spatial distribution patterns (e. Therefore.. related to mineral chromite. Its relation. © 2007 University of Salento .. however. As. phase in the surface sediments. 1993). whilst Logarou shows the burial of particulate organic matter exceeds the lowest Ca and Sr contents. its central and eastern sector exhibit a distinct dark relation to immobile elements. and under heavy rainfall. Such sediments Tsoukalio exhibits moderate abundance of accumulate in environments where the rate of biogenic elements. and particularly in the sector bordering contents of this group are observed in the NW the open sea (e. and particulates Apparently. 2). representing an anoxic growth of calcareous benthic organisms. quantities of organic carbon are injected into the lagoon. as well (116-275 ppm). reduction and surface sediments become anoxic It can also be introduced into the aquatic (Froelich et al. which characterizes probably reflects its presence as chromite anoxic sediments. Gr. Mo and organic carbon exhibit aluminosilicates. which is found in Calcium and Sr. Aluminosilicate-related major and minor Silica. Cr and Zr follow similar spatial elements exhibit highest contents in Logarou distribution patterns (Fig. about 4 times higher its natural isolation from the open sea. Si and Zr are not related to human entrain Logarou from a number of narrow sources. rate of replenishment of dissolved oxygen indicating that better communication to the open (Calvert and Pedersen. Silicon is on abundance.TWB 3 (2007) Geoch. Similarly. favor correlations against S. Al. as they appear in sediments as minerals connections. Higher element lagoon. and freshwater inputs. due to very high (max. org.g. Highest contents are observed in common in ophiolite formations. and silt exhibit high from the open sea. It is possible that during the mineral. Si and Zr. Fig. the connection of the to aluminosilicates. 2). However. 2). Tsopeli receives and Wedepohl. probably. Mo. similarly to Tsopeli. from the Amvrakikos Gulf lag. brown to black color.e. characterized by high contents in Rodia. exhibits in Rodia lagoon.g. particulate matter to the west. probably suggest that Cr is through a number of narrow connections. as a by-product of bacterial sulphate may be attached to the lattice of clay minerals. Surface sediments of environment as a pollutant. 1961). The Rodia lagoon exhibits low pollution sources or not. whilst in the other lagoons pattern suggests that the main source of they show generally lower contents. latter lagoon to the open sea seems to be more to understand whether it is related to potential restricted. sea suppresses benthic calcareous organism Chromium and Zr co-vary with Si. one hand structural element of terrigenous Sulphur. riverborne particulates (SiO 2 and ZrO 2) and of course Si is also related feed Tsoukalio. study of sed. 2).

367 org.72 Ca (%) 9.60 4.92 2.068 S (%) 1.465 2. N (%) 0.8 19.65 6.675 0.SIBA http://siba2.TWB 3 (2007) Karageorgis A.83 3.7 10.99 6.7 Clay (%) 11.397 0. P.4 47. Mean values of measured parameters in the sediments of the four lagoons.unile.1 Silt (%) 68.83 6.74 1.666 Cl (%) 4.7 21.04 Mg (%) 1.2 11.92 2.152 1.74 3.365 0.2 Si (%) 17. such other Hellenic sites.5 Al (%) 4.079 P (%) 0.35 4.913 Na (%) 0.315 0.070 0.0 6 .4 16.2 42. C (%) 6. we may infer that values high values require further examination. order to clarify that sediments have not been © 2007 University of Salento .072 0. high Cr and Ni contents have been and were attributed to the weathering of metal- recorded in soils of the Aracthos River deltaic rich rock formations.5 22. and Zn are considerably high.77 1. Similarly.65 V (ppm) 112 108 153 129 Cr (ppm) 231 274 302 295 Mn (ppm) 867 1191 922 665 Co (ppm) 16 18 27 21 Ni (ppm) 124 131 221 168 Cu (ppm) 37 31 44 48 Zn (ppm) 72 76 105 100 As (ppm) 18 14 11 10 Br (ppm) 181 90 58 275 Rb (ppm) 85 91 131 127 Sr (ppm) 574 407 325 267 Zr (ppm) 110 139 117 131 Mo (ppm) 12 6 4 4 Ba (ppm) 215 240 263 254 Pb (ppm) 36 26 25 26 tot.59 0.415 0.55 4.203 1.2 54.16 4.118 3. in for V.1 23.39 5.573 0.95 CaCO3 (%) 23.9 38.7 14.29 2.074 0.771 2.98 K (%) 1.19 Ti (%) 0.0 38.360 Fe (%) 2.305 2. Rodia Tsoukalio Logarou Tsopeli Sand (%) 20.251 0. Ni.08 0.8 Heavy metal pollution aspects Although we have identified that most of the Comparing average heavy metal contents of heavy metals are intimately and exclusively sediments from the Amvrakikos Gulf lagoons to associated with aluminosilicate minerals.904 0. plain by Vryniotis and Papadopoulou (2004) Table 1.35 2.797 0. Cr.4 24.

Fig.07. 2005. have shown similarly high Cr contents.E. For chromium. T.L. Bender. influenced by anthropogenic activities. P.apgeochem. H. Y. a 4-m core (Log-2.P.E..A.L.. Applied Geochemistry. 45: 217-224. of recent oxic and anoxic marine sediments: Nieuwenhuize. Anagnostou.008.. 1994. Implications for the geological record. G. Chemistry. Figure 2. DOI: Calvert. G. The best from the weathering of flysch deposits. nitrogen in particulate materials.P. Marine Froelich. 1) was recovered. Luedtke.2004. heavy metal enrichment in the elements. Marine J. it originates activities. sub-sampled and analyzed for major and minor Therefore.TWB 3 (2007) Geoch. A. N. and Middelburg.. throughout the natural processes. TWReferenceNET.. D. which way to resolve this problem is to sample and are ubiquitous in the catchment area of Arachtos analyze pre-industrial sediment. M.M. P..F. Hartman.. V.. and Maynard. Maas. Rapid analysis of organic carbon and Geology. Karageorgis. B.. Klinkhammer. Early oxidation of organic matter in pelagic Acknowledgments sediments of the eastern equatorial Atlantic: This paper was funded by an INTERREG IIIB suboxic diagenesis.. rather than anthropogenic core. from the Amvrakikos Gulf lag. 113: 67-88. Heath. S. 20: 69-88. Gr. 1993. study of sed. in particular. Hammond. Dauphin.R. 43: 1075-1090...unile.. Geochimica Cosmochimica CADSES grant to the project Acta.SIBA http://siba2.N. J. © 2007 University of Salento . Geochemistry and mineralogy of the NW Aegean Sea surface sediments: implications for References river runoff and anthropogenic impact.1016/ 7 ..J. Spatial distribution of major and minor elements representing the four prevailing element groups 1979. and Kaberi. and Pedersen. Results show that the background of Amvrakikos lagoon sediments is attributed to all metals is considerably high. C. Geochemistry 10. Cullen. During March River. complex. D. Flysch samples were also analyzed and 2006.

The role of Aracthos and Louros Rivers in the development of sediments of the Arta’s plain with the contribution of geochemical parameters. Froelich. Bulletin Geological Society of America. Bulletin of the Geological Society of Greece. and McIntyre A. Vryniotis.SIBA 8 . Verardo. K. 37: 157-165. 72: 175-192. 2004. D.. Deep-Sea Research. Turekian. D. P. and Wedepohl. and Papadopoulou. Distribution of the elements in some major units of the earth's crust. K.H..unile..TWB 3 (2007) Karageorgis A.J. K.K. © 2007 University of Salento . 36: 150-157.N. 1961. P. Determinations of organic carbon and nitrogen in marine sediments using the Carlo Erba NA-1500 Analyzer. 1990.