Environmental Geology

, Volume 55, Issue 3, pp 517–537 | Cite as

Anthropogenic influence on trace element geochemistry of healing mud (peloid) from Makirina Cove (Croatia)

  • S. MikoEmail author
  • G. Koch
  • S. Mesić
  • M. Šparica-Miko
  • M. Šparica
  • R. Čepelak
  • A. Bačani
  • P. Vreča
  • T. Dolenec
  • S. Bergant
Original Article


Due to their balneotherapeutic features, the organic-rich sediments in Makirina Cove are an important source of healing mud. An environmental geochemistry approach using normalization techniques was applied to evaluate the anthropogenic contribution of trace metals to sediments used as healing mud. Sediment geochemistry was found to be associated with land-use change and storm events, as well as with proximity of a road with heavy traffic in the summer months. Local valley topography preferentially channels lithogenic and pollutant transport to the cove. Concentrations and distribution of trace metals indicate lithogenic (Ni, Cr, Co) and anthropogenic (Pb, Cu, Zn and Se) contributions to the sediments. The calculation of enrichment factors indicates a moderate (EFs between 2–3.5) input of anthropogenic Cu and Pb in surficial sediments to a depth of 10 cm. Patients using the Makirina Cove sediments as healing mud could be to some extent exposed to enhanced uptake of metals from anthropogenic sources via dermal contact.


Healing mud Balneotherapy Geochemistry Trace metals Normalization Enrichment factors Pollution 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Miko
    • 1
    Email author
  • G. Koch
    • 1
  • S. Mesić
    • 1
  • M. Šparica-Miko
    • 1
  • M. Šparica
    • 1
  • R. Čepelak
    • 3
  • A. Bačani
    • 2
  • P. Vreča
    • 4
  • T. Dolenec
    • 5
  • S. Bergant
    • 1
  1. 1.Croatian Geological SurveyZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum EngineeringUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  3. 3.Department of Rheumatology and RehabilitationUniversity of Zagreb Medical SchoolZagrebCroatia
  4. 4.Department of Environmental SciencesJožef Štefan InstituteLjubljanaSlovenia
  5. 5.Department of GeologyFaculty of Natural Sciences and TechnologyLjubljanaSlovenia

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