Analysis of major, minor and trace elements in surface sediments by X-ray fluorescence spectrometry for assessment of possible contamination of Boka Kotorska Bay, Montenegro

Bojan Tanaskovski, Marija Petrović, Zoran Kljajić, Sandro Degetto, Slavka Stanković


Boka Kotorska Bay is on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. There are no published papers related to the surface sediment pollution of the Bay. For the first time, elements were measured in surface sediments at nine locations in the Bay by the energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (ED-XRF) technique. Si, Fe, Ca, K, Ti, Mn, P, Ba, Cr, Sr, Zn, Rb, Ni, Cu, Pb, As, Sn, Sb, Hg and Cd were quantified in the surface sediments. Sediments were classified as non-polluted or polluted by counting the enrichment factor (EF), metal loading index (MLI) and geo-accumulation index (Igeo) based on the elemental background level of the analyzed elements in the literature, or by the Sediment Quality Guidelines (SQGs) of USEPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency). Based on USEPA’s SQGs, the surface sediment in the entire Bay can be classified as heavily polluted by As and Cr, and non-polluted by Cd and Hg, and, related to the sites, the surface sediment at the Tivat-Arsenal site was heavily polluted and at the Orahovac site was not polluted at all. The PLI (pollution load index) values for the locations of Tivat-Arsenal and Orahovac are in agreement with the conclusion based on USEPA’s SQGs. The results in this paper will establish an initial view of sediment pollution and the state of the Bay’s environment.


multi-element analysis, marine sediment, pollution index, geochemical analysis

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