Abstract. The current environmental state of Kotlin Island and coastal areas reflects the negative impact of industry, transport and urban utilities that has lead to increased heavy metal content in soils, in terrestrial and aquatic vegetation and in the water of the Gulf of Finland. Based on the analysis of pollutant metals in roots and shoots of native plants grown on Kotlin Island, species with high metal-accumulating capacity have been identified. Of these, there were dandelion and coltsfoot demonstrating high mobility in heavy metals, especially Zn, upward transfer. These could therefore be promising as bioindicators and phytoremediators of polluted areas pointing to origins of contamination. The presence of heavy metal contamination in the coastal waters of the gulf and its variability along the coastline is regarded as dependent on multiple sources of pollution associated with Kotlin Island, namely industrial and municipal waste waters, ship and vehicle traffic, aerosol deposits, contamination by dredging activity in a new port as well as the result of metals leaching from the soils of the island (Zn, Cu, Ni). Metal-accumulating coastal plants such as cane can be a source of secondary pollution of the gulf waters during their seasonal decomposition. The data showed significantly elevated concentrations of Ni, Zn and Cd in the hair of children living in the town of Kronstadt located on Kotlin Island that confirms the adequacy of the proposed indicating methodology and shows the unfavourable environmental situation in the region.
Keywords: ecogeology, heavy metals, environment pollution, soil, plants, biogeochemical cycling of metals, bioindication, phytoremediation
Abstract. The paper addresses the possibilities of spatio-temporal statistical modelling of basic hydrophysical and meteorological parameters of sea surface layer in the south-eastern Baltic Sea, Curonian Lagoon. The aim of the paper is to compare two methods (multivariate linear regression and regression kriging) for the analysis of changes and trends of ice phenomena, their dependence on changes in the air temperature, sea surface temperature and water salinity. The prediction of ice conditions for several locations at different distances from the reference sites shows that spatial information is an extremely important factor in making forecasts. The application of the regression kriging is more efficient than the multivariate linear regression for predicting the ice phenomena in semi-enclosed basins and lagoons.
Keywords: ice phenomena, sea surface temperature, air temperature, water salinity, multivariate linear regression, regression kriging
Abstract. The quasi-biennial oscillation (further – QBO) is a quasi-periodic oscillation of the equatorial zonal wind between easterlies and westerlies in the tropical stratosphere with a mean period of 26 to 29 months. Together with other circulation mechanisms, the QBO comprises a global climate system which affects the climate indices of different regions of the globe including Lithuania. The authors of the present paper chose to address the issue of the anomalies of precipitation in Lithuania. The research encompasses the time frame from 1953 to 2009: relationship between the periods without precipitation for 10 and more days, monthly precipitation sum and different phases of QBO. The highest statistically significant precipitation deviations according the QBO phase at the 30 hPa level were established to be in May, September and November. The anomalies of precipitation were found to be predetermined by the atmospheric circulation patterns.
Keywords: atmospheric circulation, quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO), periods without precipitation, precipitation amount
Abstract. A diverse suite of vertebrate footprints documented along the coast of Lithuania offers insights into the distribution and preservation potential of tracks in sandy substrates. Whereas ichnotaxonomy is not conventionally applied to modern tracks, a case is made for using a footprint classification based on Vialov’s (1966) nomenclature for both observed and predicted track distribution based on extramorphological characteristics of the tracemaker. Along a barrier spit (Curonian Spit) and mainland shoreline (Būtingė) sites, two general types of avian footprints (Avipeda isp), as well as three carnivore (Bestiopeda), four ungulate (Pecoripeda, Suipeda, Hippipeda), and two rodent (Rodentipeda) track morphotypes are described. The habitat preferences result in a predictable distribution of track assemblages with a potential of differentiating vertebrate ichnofacies (lagoon shoreline, open sea beach, dunes). The moisture content, possibility of freezing and rapid aeolian burial, and lithological anomalies (e.g., heavy-mineral concentrations) enhance the preservation potential of tracks. Once preserved, the context of trackways with respect to bedding surfaces determines their integrity and here a model of potential regional track distribution is proposed. Track formation and preservation in modern settings provides a useful guide to locating and studying vertebrate footprints and other traces in sand-dominated coastal and aeolian sequences.
Keywords: neoichnology, mammalian, avian, preservation, dune, Curonian Spit
Abstract. Organic-rich sediments are exposed at a number of onshore and nearshore sites along the Baltic Sea coast of the Curonian Spit. Radiocarbon dating of relict tree stumps, as well as buried and reworked peat and palaeosols, found along the Russian part of the Curonian Spit (villages of Lesnoy and Rybachy) and in the vicinity of Zelenogradsk indicate the formation of these sediments over a wide time period from 7300 cal BP to 300 cal BP. Organic-rich sediments of different stages of the Holocene sand barrier evolution are of interest in terms of environmental protection, as potential accumulators of oil (or other hydrocarbon) pollution and indicators of intensity of coastal erosion. In terms of geochronology, the data have implications for reconstructing the geological history of the Curonian Spit and Curonian Lagoon during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene.
Keywords: relict peat, palaeosol, Litorina stage, Post-Litorina stage, ground-penetrating radar
Abstract. The paper summarises geological and palaeobotanical investigation data on Pleistocene of recent decades in Lithuania and Belarus. The main problems in Pleistocene stratigraphy and correlation of sections are discussed. As a result, the chronostratigraphical correlation chart of Pleistocene deposits is presented and some changes in local stratigraphic schemes are proposed. The main stratigraphical units are comparable and correlate well; however some unsolved stratigraphical problems still exist. The lack of the absolute chronology dates of the Pleistocene deposits of Belarus and the controversial dating results of some sections in Lithuania is still the main problem.
Keywords: Pleistocene, stratigraphy, palaeobotany, correlation