CIESM International Conference on East - West Cooperation in Marine Science
(Sochi, 1-3 December 2014)

Abstracts of Panel communications


Panel [A] - Physical processes in coastal waters
Panel [B] - Geo-hazards
Panel [C] - Invasive species
Panel [D] - Contaminants & marine litter
Panel [E] - Marine biotechnology & society
Panel [F] - Data harmonization

Panels abstracts

Panel [D] - Contaminants & marine litter

co-moderators : Drs Francois Galgani and Peter Zavyalov

Title : POPs and related contaminants in the open Mediterranean and Black Seas
by Javier Castro-Jiménez, Naiara Berrojalbiz, Jordi Dachs
CSIC, Lyon, France

Summary :
The Mediterranean and Black Seas are under the influence of large number of organic pollutant sources due to their nature as semi-enclosed environments surrounded by highly populated areas (more than 400 million people), numerous industrial and agricultural sectors and as hosts of intense maritime traffic. A fraction of these chemicals, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), are of major concern due to their high toxicity and persistence, their bioacumulative properties (e.g. they can biomagnify in the food chain) and long-range transport potential. Recent investigations have proved the overall occurrence and loading of POPs and related contaminants in the open Mediterranean and the south western Black Seas. In this presentation an overview of the current levels, atmospheric transport, loadings and cycling of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) will be presented. In addition, recent measurements of alternative flame retardants and plasticizers (OPEs) will be discussed. These results come from a unique set of samples (~ 150 samples analyzed, all matrixes) collected during two east-west oceanographic surveys conducted in June-July 2006 and May-June 2007 that covered all Mediterranean sub-basins and the SW Black Sea. Atmospheric (gas and particle phases), seawater (dissolved and particulate phases) and plankton samples were gathered simultaneously.
The overall occurrence of toxic organic chemicals in surface waters far from the shoreline has been confirmed, with concentrations ranging from a few fg/L (PCDD/Fs) to ng/L levels (PAHs). Spatial and temporal trends have been identified for some contaminant families. For instance, higher PAH water dissolved phase concentrations were measured in the SW Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean than in the Western Mediterranean reflecting different pollutant loads, trophic conditions and cycling. Results of atmospheric gas phase PCBs (~ 300 pg/m3 mean concentration) point to a limited decline in PCB atmospheric concentrations for the last 15 years in the Mediterranean Sea region, suggesting primary and secondary sources are still present in the region. Atmospheric deposition has been shown to be the main loading pathway at open sea in both marine environments for all studied contaminants. For example, the PAH atmospheric deposition (dominated by low MW PAH net air-water diffusive fluxes) is estimated to be ~ 3100 ton/y in the Mediterranean Sea and 500 ton/y in the Black Sea. Dry deposition is also a relevant pathway for particle-bound contaminants such as the legacy PCDD/Fs and the emerging OPEs. The dynamic coupling of the air-water-phytoplankton POP concentrations allowed to explain the “modulation” of the water column levels for PCBs, OCPs and PAHs in the Mediterranean Sea far from land-base sources. Key gaps of knowledge and research needs were identified, such as the need of a comprehensive study on new transport vectors of POPs (e.g. microplastics) and the accurate assessment of POPs ship emissions as local sources at open waters.


Title : Numerical simulation of Black Sea circulation and pollution propagation in coastal waters of the Greater Sochi
by Nikolai Dianskiy, V. V. Fomina,c, N. V. Zhokhovaa, and A. N. Korshenko
Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

Summary :
The numerical modeling of the Black Sea (BS) is considered by using INMOM (Institute Numerical Mathematics Ocean Model). The model is based on the primitive equations in spherical ?-coordinate system with free surface boundary condition. The numerical algorithm is based on the method of multicomponent splitting and has a flexible modular structure. The splitting with respect to physical processes and spatial coordinate is used.
A computational method is proposed of the polluting substances (PS) transport in the BS region adjacent to the Great Sochi. It is based on INMOM application for the BS in two versions: M1 and M2. In the M1 INMOM has a uniform spatial resolution ~4 km, while M2 has non-uniform one with refinement to 50 m in the BS region near Great Sochi coast. The M2 is used only during the periods of PS transport computation for which the initial hydrothermodynamic conditions are taken from M1. Both versions reveal complexity of the BS circulation nature, however, M2 more adequately reproduces eddy circulation due to higher horizontal resolution in its eastern part.
Hence, a suggestion is made that BS eddy structure simulation requires model resolution ~1,5 km, and the major factor of quasistationary Batumi anti-cyclonic gyre formation is the topographical features in this part of the sea. A computation of PS distribution from the rivers Sochi, Host and Mzymta and from 18 pipes of deep-water sewage production was performed for the high-water period from 01.04.2007 to 30.04.2007. It is shown that the significant contribution to PS distribution from these punctual sources is made by whirlwind mesoscale formations generating complicated 3-dimensional PS distribution.


Title : Marine litter in the Mediterranean and Black seas
by François Galgani
IFREMER, Bastia, France

Summary :
Key words: Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, Marine Litter, Microplastics

Anthropogenic litter on the ocean surface, beaches and seafloor has significantly increased over recent decades and both Mediterranean and Black Seas have been described as among the most affected areas in the world.
Plastic, mainly bags and fishing gear, forms the largest part of debris at sea. Cleaning and regular surveys are now providing information about temporal and spatial distribution that is mainly related to the presence of large cities, large rivers and shore uses. Hydrodynamics, maritime activities and geomorphology of the sea floor are ultimately the main drivers affecting the distribution of litter at sea.
On beaches, studies have demonstrated densities in the 1/m2 range. Polymers can be then physically degraded into smaller fragments, the so-called microplastics. All existing surveys on the surface, worldwide, have found average densities lower than in the NW Mediterranean sea (115000/km2). Microplastics are also found on beaches and sediments, including the deep sea, reaching concentrations of 1000 pellets/m2 of beaches on the island of Malta.
Recent studies on the deep sea floor of the Mediterranean concluded that coastal submarine canyons act as conduits for the transport of marine debris into the deep sea areas with an average density  evaluated from 295 samples at 179 plastic items/km2.
The balance between the increase of waste and plastic productions, reduction measures and the quantities found at the surface and on shorelines is still not answered. Recent research in the Mediterranean and Black seas demonstrated (i) the importance of hydrodynamics, (ii) the occurrence of physical, chemical or biological degradation of plastic, involving several steps such as the initial formation of bacterial biofilms and fragmentation, (iii) the impacts of plastic at sea that include entanglement, physical damage and ingestion, the release of chemicals, the transport of species and the alteration of benthic community structures, and (iv) social and economic harm that include the reduction of values of various areas as well as risks to human health, threat to navigation and costs to maritime sectors.
The Black sea and Barcelona conventions with their Regional Action Plans and the EC through the MSFD are key stakeholders for monitoring marine litter at Sea and for implementing reduction measures. For research, CIESM recently organized a workshop dedicated to marine litter and summarized priority research topics, inviting to (i) a better definition of standardized/harmonized protocols, (ii) develop research on nanoparticles at sea, (iii) a better understanding of circulation and transport of litter in the Mediterranean and black seas, (iv) improve our knowledge of the ecology of microbial life on plastic and consequences on degradation, species dispersion and release of chemicals, (v), understand the interactions between species and plastic and the impact of new habitats, (vi) develop a risk assessment approach , and finally, (vii) develop indicators of harm,
As necessary steps, a better understanding of marine litter issue will then need to (i) increase the coverage of survey sites and further development of data analysis in all regions, enabling to map hot spots and sources, (ii) develop a database on rafted species to better explain the risk of dispersion, the transport between the Mediterranean and Black seas, through the Suez canal and the strait of Gibraltar and the possible colonization of new deep sea areas, (iii) define thresholds for harm, and (iv) develop original methods to identify micro/nano particles/fibers.


Title : Dynamic of DOM and contaminants in the Mediterranean sea : Understanding through fluorescence sensor technology
by Madeleine Goutx, Catherine Guigue, Marc Tedetti
Univ. Aix-Marseille & Toulon, MIO, Marseille, France

Summary :
Fluorescence has been fruitfully used to investigate the composition and dynamics of DOM in aquatic environments. In situ fluorescence tools may resolve the spatio-temporal variability of biogeochemical variables for a better understanding of ecosystem functioning. With this aim, we developed a submersible fluorometers (the "MiniFluo-UV") based on light-emitting diodes (LEDs) excitation in collaboration with MicroModule (Brest) and Acsa-Alcen (Europarc, Meyreuil) companies. We present the performance of this sensor for monitoring DOM and contaminants in coastal marine areas, NW Mediterranean.
Acknowledgments: Projects FUI_SEA EXPLORER, DGCIS_ VASQUE, ANR-09-ECOT-009-01, NEXOS_CE PCRD 7 "The Ocean of Tomorrow 2013" and the Competitivity Cluster Mer PACA, the CNRS_INSU and AMU. 


Title : Main results of satellite monitoring of oil spills in the Black Sea
by Andrei Yu. Ivanov, Alexey Kucheiko
P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Moscow, Russia

Summary :
Since 2009 RDC SCANEX in collaboration with Institute of Oceanology RAS monitors the oil pollution in the Black Sea. Main source of remote sensing (RS) data – synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images acquired by SAR-equipped RS satellites, such as Envisat, Radarsat-1 and Radarsat-2 (then TerraSAR-X and Cosmo-SkyMeds after Envisat’ failure in 2012, and Radarsat-1’ in 2013). The oil slicks and oil spills are visible on them as dark patches of different shape and size. For comprehensive analysis the multi-satellite/sensor and GIS technologies, as well data of automatic ship identification systems (AIS) and modeling are used.
This paper presents results of routine satellite oil spill monitoring in the Eastern Black Sea (2011-2013). The focus of monitoring is on providing information that assists in adequate responses as well as further investigation into problem of recent oil pollution of this sea. For this the web-GIS technology/application developed by SCANEX and named Geomixer has been actively used. The Geomixer is based on geoinformation approach (Ivanov & Zatyagalova 2008), and allows integration and combination of all data & information needed for detail analysis, such as offshore and onshore oil-&-gas infrastructure, ship tracks, boundaries of territorial waters, economic zones and license blocks, bathymetry, locations of known bottom oil seeps, etc. As the result of integrating all detected spills, actual and unique oil spill distribution maps for the Eastern Black Sea have been generated and analyzed. Further by combining of annual oil spill distribution maps and comparing them, it is possible to get spatial-temporal characteristics of oil pollution. They clearly show that a main source of man-made oil pollution of these seas is navigation/shipping. The Black Sea, especially its open part, is an arena of intensive tank washing and illegal ship discharges. Even though the Black Sea is a Special Area under MARPOL Convention, there is a possibility to discharge oil, oily, other chemical and natural products under special conditions. It is revealed that the most important negligible source of oil pollution is the tank washing in the open sea (spill areas 20 ? 100 and more km2) and illegal discharges (1 ? 10 km2). However, among detected oil spills there are many patches that are not produced by crude oil and oil product at all. For instance, by radar satellite monitoring the unprecedented large ship-made oil spill of palm oil (~350 km2) was detected. Moreover, complex analysis of SAR, RS, AIS and other kind of data allows exact identification sources of oil pollution and even ship involved in a particular oil spill. Three regions of natural oil seeping mainly in the southern-east part of the sea were also proved by monitoring, and it is ill-estimated source of oil and discrimination problem. It is concluded therefore that the distribution of oil spills in the sea strongly depends on ship and tanker traffic. Based on actual data of satellite monitoring, the Black Sea can be considered as one of heavily polluted inland seas on a local and even international scale due to tank washing.
Keywords: Black Sea, satellite monitoring, SAR images, oil spills, oil spill distribution maps


Title : Mesoscale circulation and processes of pollution transport in the Adriatic Sea
by Konstantin A. Korotenko
P.P. Shirshov Inst. of Oceanology, Moscow, Russia

Summary :
This presentation devoted to simulations of the Adriatic Sea using the DieCAST model applied on a 1.2–min grid (about 2–km resolution). The simulations resolve the mesoscale variability because the grid size falls below the first baroclinic deformation radius (about 5–10 km) and DieCAST has very low horizontal dissipation. The model is initialized with seasonally averaged temperature and salinity data and forced with climatological winds and surface buoyancy fluxes (both heat flux and evaporation minus precipitation). River discharges are varied daily according to a perpetual year for every river, and the open-boundary conditions at Otranto Strait are obtained by nesting in two larger-scale models. The present simulations demonstrate that the DieCAST model allows mesoscale instabilities to develop at length scales of 5–20 km and over time scales of a few days.

The simulated variability exhibits pronounced similarities with the actual mesoscale variability, in terms of location, nature and temporal evolution of the features. Meanders, swirls and eddies are noted along the relatively smooth Italian coast while offshore jets and filaments better describe the mesoscale activity along the more rugged coast of Croatia. The present simulations also show that the seasonal hydrography of the Adriatic Sea is intrinsically unstable to mesoscale perturbations, and that the mesoscale variability along the Italian coast is the result of baroclinic instability of the Western Adriatic Current. It is shown how the properties of this instability are related to the local bottom topography.

Mesoscale instabilities play a great role in the transport and dispersal of pollution in the Adriatic Sea. From satellite images, the mesoscale structures and associated with the latter pollution accumulation zones in the Adriatic Sea appear to have the following properties, depending on the region. The Italian side has periodic meanders and eddies of identifiable wavelength, with a hint of development during calm periods; this is symptomatic of baroclinic instability in relatively pure forms that create similar forms of pollution zones. In contrast, the Croatian side has jets and filaments that tend to vary in speed and length of penetration but not in location; there are strong hints that topographic control plays a significant role in creating and guiding these jets. Such jets and filaments produce self-cleaning effects along the Croatian coast. The southern Adriatic basin is characterized by instabilities of its two buoyant coastal currents (along Italy and Albania) and the instability of the South Adriatic Gyre. Finally, the northern basin, which is often affected by all three types of forcings simultaneously, exhibits complex behavior echoing in the formation of pollution zone in this part of the Sea.


Title : Dispersion of African dust-borne hazardous chemicals in the Mediterranean Sea
by Euripides G. Stephanou
Univ. of Crete, Heraklion, Greece

Summary :
A multidisciplinary approach was applied to evaluate the implications of the dispersion of African dust-borne hazardous chemicals (e.g. persistent organic pollutants – POPs; toxic metals) into the Mediterranean basin. The key-issues of the research were: 1) To establish an integrated sampling network, using advanced sampling techniques, in selected sites in E. Mediterranean in order to seize the transported African dust in to the Mediterranean basin. 2) To use satellite data and backward trajectories models to trace the source areas and the routes of African dust towards the Mediterranean. 3) To measure the particle size distribution, of the atmosphere in the downwind areas during African dust events in order to evaluate their contribution to respirable particles concentration during the event. 4) To perform geochemical analysis in order to assure the origin of the dust burden arriving in the downwind areas and exclude the possibility of a wrong record of contaminants picked-up during transit of air mass. 5) To use advanced chemical analysis in order to record the pollutant content of African dust. 6) To use phylogenetic high density DNA microarrays in order to establish in selected samples the microbial record of African dust transported to the Mediterranean. 7) To integrate the outcomes of the above-mentioned tasks in order to evaluate how the dust transported from Africa into the Mediterranean impacts directly and/or indirectly the environment (and human health) in the downwind areas.
The results of the above measurements will be presented in the meeting


Title : Contaminants and marine litter at the Romanian Black Sea: A step beyond monitoring
by Tania Zaharia, Luminita Lazar, Andra Oros, Valentina Coatu, Daniela Tiganus, Madalina Galatchi, Eugen Anton, George Tiganov
NIRDEP, Constanta, Romania

Summary :
The contamination of coastal areas of the north-western part of the Black Sea can be directly correlated with urban or industrial sources, such as factories, harbors, water treatment plants etc. River influence on the coastal area is significant, being a major source of contaminants, mainly as particulates, with extreme hydrological events (floods) enhancing such an input. High concentrations of certain contaminants in the environment affect biota by their ability to bioaccumulate, transfer along the food chain all the way to human consumers. Another type of pollutant, marine litter, is widely recognized as a threat to worldwide marine ecosystems. It is a major societal challenge because it impacts the vast natural marine capital that supports economies, societies and individual well-being. Marine litter, of which plastic is a main component, is a new pollutant taken into consideration in the monitoring program developed at the Romanian Black Sea.

This paper aims at identifying the gaps of the Romanian monitoring program, in compliance with contaminants and pollution effects, contaminants in fish and other seafood, marine litter, as well as the need for applying new research methods for a better understanding of how contaminants (heavy metals, petroleum hydrocarbons, pesticides, bacteria) and marine litter affect the Black Sea ecosystem.

NIMRD’s monitoring programme of the transitional, coastal and marine waters from the Romanian Black Sea area is based on the analysis of water, sediment and biota samples, collected from a network of 44 stations located between Sulina and Vama Veche (research vessel “Steaua de Mare 1”, 2-4 times/year). The network of stations includes the survey of all water typologies included in Water Framework Directive and Marine Strategy Framework Directive. The contamination parameters analyzed are: total petroleum hydrocarbons, heavy metals, organochlorine pesticides, polycylcic aromatic hydrocarbons (water, sediments and marine organisms - mollusks) and bacteria (bathing waters). The identified gaps refer to the pollution effects which are poorly addressed at national level and contaminants in fish and other seafood for human consumption. Also, the threshold values which define the maximum admissible levels are not set out for a number of contaminants either in relation to the sediments and biota.

Concerning the monitoring of marine litter, this was begun in 2011 only from the sea floor, water column and beaches. The identified gaps are the data on litter in biota and micro-litter. Future research will be directed towards completing those indicators that have not been analyzed until now, but also to the analysis of the impact of contaminants and marine litter on Black Sea ecosystems, using predictive models.


Title : River plumes and pollutants at the Russian Black Sea coast
by Peter Zavialov
P.P. Shirshov Inst. of Oceanology, Moscow, Russia

Summary :
This paper presents the results of long-term (2005-20014) in situ and satellite measurements at shelf areas adjacent to the estuaries of the small rivers of the Russian coast of the Black Sea (Mezyb, Pshada, Vulan, Tuapse, Bitkha, Sochi, Kudepsta, Mzymta). The quantitative characteristics of the response of the hydrophysical and hydrochemical fields at the sea shelf on the influence of the continental river discharge are presented for each of these areas. A number of indicators of the water quality (such as the concentrations of the nitrate and nitrite forms of nitrogen, the phosphorus, the silica, the dissolved oxygen, the value of the total alkalinity and pH, the mineral and organic suspended matter, and the chlorophyll a) as well as some pollutants (such as metals, sterols, and some POPs) are considered in the context of the anthropogenic and terrigenous influence. The emphasis was placed on the Mzymta River plume at the shelf area adjacent to the city of Sochi, where the measurements were repeatedly performed during the spring flooding conditions in the period from 2007 until 2012. The interannual variability of the water quality indicators and the seasonal and short-term variability of the area and the configuration of the river plume, which transports suspended matter and anthropogenic pollution, were considered. The dynamics of the river plume under a variety of forcing conditions is simulated using a Lagrangian numerical model.