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Caspian Environment Programme: Overview of ASTP. Stephen de Mora International Atomic Energy Agency Marine Environment Laboratory 4, quai Antoine 1 er Principality of Monaco. Content. Introduction Sample Collection and Analyses Inorganic Contaminants Organic Contaminants Conclusions.

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caspian environment programme overview of astp

Caspian Environment Programme:Overview of ASTP

Stephen de Mora

International Atomic Energy Agency

Marine Environment Laboratory

4, quai Antoine 1er

Principality of Monaco

  • Introduction
  • Sample Collection and Analyses
  • Inorganic Contaminants
  • Organic Contaminants
  • Conclusions
at sea training programme objectives
At Sea Training Programme: Objectives
  • To conduct a limited regional contamination assessment in order to fill the gaps in the Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA)
  • To train regional experts in monitoring and assessment of background pollution.

Baku Harbour, Azerbaijan

sample collection
Sample Collection
  • 105 surface sediment samples were collected using a Van Veen grab during from October 2000 to September 2001.
  • Four missions were undertaken in Azerbaijan, Federation of Russia, Islamic Republic of Iran and Kazakhstan.
  • No permission was given to sample in Turkmenistan.

R/V Mammed


Issledovatel Kaspiya

(Caspian Explorer)

analyses of sediment samples
Analyses of Sediment Samples
  • Metals
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  • Chlorinated Pesticides (lindane, DDT, etc.)
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Other parameters:
    • Grain size distribution
    • Total Organic Carbon (TOC)
    • Carbonate content
    • Extracted Organic Matter (EOM)
fine grained sediments
Distribution of fine grain sediments (size <62.1 mm) as a percent contribution to sediments in the Caspian Sea.

The shallow northern sector is generally characterised by low content of fines.

Fine-Grained Sediments
Concentrations are low in the north Caspian Sea.

Cu content exceeded the NOAA ERL, 34 mg g-1, value at several locations in Azerbaijan and Iran.

A hot spot is also evident in Kazakhstan.

The Kura River seems to be an important source of Cu locally.

Possible sources: mining and agricultural activities in the catchment area.

total petroleum hydrocarbons tph
TPH ranged 29 - 1820 µg g-1 in Azerbaijan, where generally the highest amounts were found.

TPH levels in the most contaminated sediments (south of Baku Bay) are relatively high compared with other global locations.

Sediments were not available Turkmenistan.

Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH)
sources of pahs
Sources of PAHs
  • Oil (fossil) is the main source of PAHs in the region.
  • Pyrolitic sources are important for many samples from the Federation of Russia and Baku Bay, Azerbaijan.
  • Natural PAHs, derived from in situ biological activity contribute very little to the total PAHs.
total ddts in sediments
NOAA ERL is 1600 pg g-1.

Total DDT levels exceed this quality standard at a number of locations, especially in Azerbaijan and Iran.

The maximum value of 13400 pg g-1 shows a strong signal from the Kura River.

The lowest concentrations were found in the North Caspian Sea, particularly in the north-eastern shallow area.

Total DDTs in Sediments
relative contributions of ddt and degradation products ddd dde
Relative Contributions of DDT and Degradation Products DDD & DDE
  • Relatively high proportions of DDT indicate recent influxes and, by implication, ongoing DDT usage throughout the region.
conclusions heavy metals
Conclusions: Heavy Metals
  • Generally, the concentrations of heavy metals co-vary with those of aluminium, reflecting the influences of terrigenous inputs and grain size.
  • As, Cr & Ni have high natural backgrounds due to mineralization, but might be locally elevated due to mining activities.
  • Ag, Cd & Pb are quite low and seem to pose no pollution problem.
  • Hg, Cu & Zn have localised hot spots that reflect anthropogenic inputs.
  • Ba and U similarly have hot spots, possibly due to human influences.
conclusions organic pollutants
Conclusions: Organic Pollutants
  • Petroleum hydrocarbon concentrations were quite high by global standards at some locations, notably to the south of Baku Bay.
  • DDT-related compounds exhibited high concentrations at numerous locations in the coastal zone of Azerbaijan and Iran, but were quite low in the northern Caspian Sea.
  • Lindane concentrations exceeded the Canadian sediment quality guideline value at sites in the Russian sector.
  • S PAHs and S PCBs never exceeded the NOAA Sediment Quality Guideline values of 4000 ng g-1 and 23 ng g-1, respectively.
many thanks

Tim Turner

Mohammed Reza Sheikholeslami

Vladimir Vladymirov

Ziyafat Kerimov


Jean-Pierre Villeneuve

Eric Wyse

Chantal Cattini

Imma Tolosa

Jean Bartocci

Roberto Cassi

Beniamino Oregioni

Juan-Carlos Miquel

Many Thanks