Chalcophile elements Hg, Cd, Pb, As in Lake Umbozero, Murmansk Region, Russia



Investigations of Lake Umbozero, the second largest and the deepest lake of the Murmansk Region, were carried out to detect and define biogeochemical patterns of distribution of the chalcophile elements (Hg, Cd, Pb, As) in water, sediments and organs and tissues of whitefishes. Lake Umbozero is affected by emissions and effluents from mining and metallurgical enterprises of the Murmansk Region, as well as air pollution of a global character. Surface and near-bottom maxima were found in the distributions of Pb and Cd in the water column. These two maxima appear to be associated with the cyclical growth of phytoplankton in surface water layers and with sedimentation of lifeless organisms and suspended particles in near-bottom layers. Average concentrations of Pb and Cd in the water column were more than the average value for water of lakes of the taiga zone. Pollution of Lake Umbozero led to higher concentrations of heavy metals in upper layers of sediments as compared to deeper layers. Among heavy metals, the highest factors of contamination were found for Cd and Pb. Pollution of the lake by chalcophile elements has also resulted in their accumulation in organs and tissues of whitefish. Values for concentration factors greater than unity were found for Cd in kidney (5.8) and for Hg in kidney, liver and muscle (3.6, 3.3 and 2.2, respectively)
of whitefish.