By R. Geyer
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Extra resources for Marine Environmental Pollution : Dumping and Mining
No attempt frequently has been made t o differentiate between the components and the total system, or even components of certain specific substances. Heavy metals The rate of removal from solution into particulate form in estuarine and coastal waters varies for various types of pollutants. It may also for unknown reasons, vary from time to time for a specific pollutant. Further lowering of their concentration in solution in the sea may be caused by dilution, adsorption onto suspended particles, and uptake by organisms.
Radioactivity It only becomes possible to recognize significant changes in the marine environment in time to be able to take corrective action if data from a valid baseline study exists. This is especially important in the disposal of radioactive wastes. Similarly, absence of sufficient knowledge of rate processes in the deep ocean makes it extremely difficult if not impossible at this time to make accurate models of the deep-ocean ecosystem. However, what is known indicates that biological processes are not sufficiently intense to alter the transport rates of radionuclides appreciably by physical processes.
The more rapid the gradient the greater the effect. Similarly, the role of both antagonistic and synergistic effects are important and may even be an overriding consideration in evaluating the presence of a given amount of potential pollutant on the marine environment. When studying longer-term effects, the rate at which a specific organism can successfully adapt t o a changing environment must be considered. These diverse factors are investigated extensively and reported on by Mearns (Chapter l), Oppenheimer et al.